As a parent, one of your biggest jobs is to teach your kids how to function in a world when you’re no longer there to hold their hand. You have to raise them with love, understanding, and support, so they can learn how to exist without your constant guidance, which can happen sooner than you might think.
Most people will parent their children in the manner in which they were raised, simply because they know no other style besides that. However, this could be unproductive if they failed to realize the gaps in the parenting style of their own parents, who may have just followed in the footsteps of their own parents.
From this alone, you will see that this is a tradition that can be passed on from generation to generation. This wouldn’t be a source of worry if the parenting style is progressive and can be adapted to the times, but if it’s toxic, unhealthy, or even abusive, that’s a separate issue altogether.
There could be times when the people who grew up in a rather toxic household may not notice the red flags because they’re too close to the eye of the storm. The only silver lining to this is when they grow older and realize that the lessons they learned were wrong, or if they were maltreated because they were young.
It should be said that there’s no right way to parent and it differs from every family. The most important thing is that, as the parent, you’re unlearning your toxic traits and instead, actively seeking out ways to become a better guide for your children. And here’s how you can teach them valuable life skills through household chores:
Assuming Responsibility for Their Actions or Lack Thereof
Responsibility is something that should be taught at a young age because people carry that well into their adulthood. As a parent, giving your kids household chores that they have the capability to perform can show that you trust them enough to carry out the tasks on their own.
Keep in mind that the size of the task isn’t as important as the values and skills that your children can get from the experience. When children are given responsibilities around the house, they can learn how to be accountable for their actions or the lack thereof.
For instance, you’re having a Kikuyu turf installation done to revamp your lawn, and you leave the task of mowing every weekend to your teenager. Now if your kid doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain, your instinct might be to inflict punishment. But that’s not how progressive parenting works.
Rather than enforce punishments for bad behavior and reward good deeds, try your best to explain the importance of taking responsibility for their actions. This way, you can teach them how to be accountable not because they are afraid of being grounded or losing privileges, but because they understand that their non-action comes with consequences that affect other people.
Participating in Making the Decisions That Affect Them
As a parent, you have to keep in mind that your kids are autonomous beings and not just extensions of yourself. They have the ability to decide for themselves, even if you think that they are too young to understand what you’re talking about. In some cases, this could be acceptable, but you have to at least try to create opportunities for your children to participate and voice their opinions.
An example of this is if you were to discuss what household chores your children are willing to be responsible for rather than just assigning them randomly. This is because doing so will encourage participation in the decision-making of the family, especially since this decision affects them as well.
By giving your kids the option to choose their own responsibilities around the house, you’re allowing them to become active contributing members of the family instead of just being the recipient of actions. This can also help them better understand the importance of responsibility and keeping their word.
Learning About the Value of Hard Work and Determination
In the digital age, everything happens in an instant. While this could be beneficial to societal progress, it could be teaching your kids that they can get anything they want when they want it, even without putting in the work to get it. This could be tricky if they were to take this mentality as they grow older.
However, giving your children chores might help them learn about delayed gratification and the value of hard work. It can teach them that not everything in this world is instantaneous and that if they want to achieve something, they have to be willing to put in some elbow grease to get it.
This could also help you shed light on a sad reality that even if they exert enough effort, it’s possible that they may not achieve their goal because life got in the way. Most parents will go out of their way to shelter their kids from such disappointments, but the sooner they realize this, the more they will be prepared to bounce back from it.
There is no such thing as a perfect way to parent. Your parenting style may appear too flexible for some people, just as their style appears regressive for you. At the end of the day, what matters most is that your kids will learn how to navigate the world on their own because you taught them everything they may need in the future.