Thursday, February 21, 2013

Managers of the Home

As mothers and wives (for those of us blessed to maintain that title) we are called by the Lord to be managers of the home...
We are called to keep our children in order, our husbands supported, our fellow Christians uplifted and our homes in order.
We are not called to do it all ourselves!
Managers know how to run every aspect of their operation, but they don't do it all themselves.
They delegate and oversee.
I expect most people will not see eye to eye with me on this. It doesn't seem to be the norm and my children are quite young. Many assume that somethings fall to the children because I am a single mother, this is not so. In fact, my expectations for my children have not changed since their father left.
Children of all ages can and should be expected to help with household responsibilities to some degree. We are after all training them in the way they should go, and unless you plan on handing them a large trust fund, the way they go will probably not involve a maid, chef and personal assistant to find every lost item. Also, I am not raising children, I am doing the best I can to raise educated, well manner, capable and responsible adults. I think that should be one of the main objectives of parenting!
At this point delegating chores is actually more work than doing it myself most of the time. It requires a great deal of patience, teaching and supervision. One day this investment will pay off knowing that I am sending my children out into the world fully capable of handling the day to tasks that are inevitable.
What tasks do I delegate to different ages you ask? Good question!
First off, if I give someone a job to complete it's expected to be done all the way, right away and the first time. This is then rewarded with a sticker on our chore chart. As adults we're rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done and sometimes we treat ourselves in other ways. My children have a sticker chart and earn rewards for a full row of stickers.
Here's some examples of chores different ages may begin learning or be expected to know... this does vary from child to child depending on their temperment.
1 year old... begin learning to pick up toys, keep food in kitchen, laundry to the basket and I generally let them help with any task I am accomplishing.
2 year old... should know: all the above and to clear own dishes from table after meals
Begin learning/helping with: laundry (helping with age appropriate asspects), wiping up messes, putting away other things (dishes, laundry, ect. they should know everything has a home)
3 year old... should know: all the above and how to dress themself
Begin learning: pet feeding, sorting trash/recycling/compost, wipe down tables/counters, vacuuming, bed making
4 year old... should know: all the above and be able to handle brushing hair and teeth with minimal supervision
Begin learning: more asspects of laundry, helping with meal prep, washing windows and mirrors
5 years and up... should know: all the above and be able to assist younger siblings (teaching is a great way to solidify learning!)
Begin learning: more details of each task and the reasons behind it, sweeping & mopping, dish washing, getting fitted sheet on mattress and continue adding new skills as the chance arises
They don't do each of these jobs everyday, they are responsible for their own personal care as they are capable and 2-3 chores per day depending on what we're doing for the day. They are expected to know how to do things though... If I ask one of my oldest 3 to sort laundry, I expect them to carry out the task. They are capable and knowledgeable.
Teaching responsiblity is not something to leave for later in life. The patterns we carry out in life are set at an early age. As parents we can do our children a great disservice by not putting some responsibility on their shoulders and showing them the value of hard work.
If you never teach them to work hard when they are young, how can you expect them to work hard as adults?

1 comment:

  1. Yes!!! My kids werent doing schoolwork the other day... they were told... "you may not have book smarts but you'll know how to take care of a house"!!