One can see toys spread all over the room, books scattered on bed and paints smudged on the floor. Luckily clothes are still stacked neatly in the cupboard because children don’t play with them. That was a usual sight in my house a few days back. I, like a doting mum, was forever busy in feeding healthy food to my children, reading to them, bathing them or putting them to sleep. Putting the house in order was the last thing on my list. I never got the time to move ‘cleaning’ a few notches up in my list. In short, my children always messed around and play dates further added to my woes. As I have written earlier, my house was always upside down and looked more like a pig sty-just struck by a tsunami.
I feel many Indian mums face the same situation. Our houses are cleaned by us or our maids, lucky ones have the chance to seek help from husbands. But how often do we tighten the noose on our kids? Are the kids involved in cleaning and organizing things on a regular basis? Have we assigned them any responsibility towards cleaning and tidying up? My friends who have settled in Western countries face a tough time. They were never made to do small things on their own since childhood so simple daily chores were tedious and tiring for them.
In this globalized world everything is mobile. We do not know when we have to pack our bags and shift to a new land for the sake of job. The western world has acute labour shortage. Rather it is more correct to say that labour is very expensive and unaffordable for most of us. In India, the situation is changing rapidly. Everyone reading this could vouch for it. One needs special blessings from Lady Luck or unique positioning of stars in natal chart to get an efficient house help. I soon realized this hard hitting reality and started following the mantra ‘Do It Yourself’. Children were made to follow suit.
So now my son has been assigned the basic responsibilities of cleaning up his toys and books. He has to put his shoes, water bottle, snack box and clothes in place. He even helps me with watering plants, laying the table before meals and many other easy daily chores. I am trying to inculcate this habit in him where he does not have to seek help for his work from anyone. Who knows, when he grows up then which part of the world he moves to and what kind of situations he has to face. Life has become more sorted for me too. House looks spick and span always. There is an added advantage to it- since children are busy in their work you don’t need to make any extra efforts to refrain them from watching TV or playing games on mobile phones. So on one hand it automatically reduces their screen time, on the other hand they learn to respect the person who is doing these small tasks. Also, it keeps a check on obesity and lethargic attitude
It is our parental obligation to make our children independent. We are doing more harm than good by doing all the work for our children. Let them be ready to face the harsh reality of life. This is the right time to build a robust foundation. I can assure you that your chhota munna bachha will soon surprise you by his diligence and promptness.