I’m such a lazy parent…
The alarm goes off at 5:30 every morning, and I’m usually dragging myself out of bed by 6.
I do my morning devotion, shower, and get dressed by 7.
Today, I woke up at 6:40 and got sucked into Facebook until 7 when I finally dragged myself to the shower.
Since the house was quiet, I assumed all the kids were sleeping late as well. And since I felt so well-rested (apparently, I needed those 9 hours of sleep), I decided not to beat myself up about missing the alarm.
By the time I made it to the kitchen just before 8 am, everyone (including the baby) had been fed, and the kitchen was spotless. Beds were made and kids were roaming quietly around the house.
Now, you might think that this finding shocked me, but it didn’t. It’s actually pretty normal.
Chore routines were established a long time ago. And for the most part, I don’t have to stand over them to remind them of all the things that need to be done. (I did have to remind them to brush their teeth though!)
Why I Train My Kids Early…
We determined early in our child-rearing careers that cooking and cleaning were skills we wanted our children to know how to do. We also felt it important to instill in our children the understanding that having a home requires work, and EVERYONE contributes to the maintenance of that home. Basically, we wanted them to be able to take care of themselves and eventually, their own families.
Since I had not received any such training as a child and my husband’s training came mostly from the military, I read books on the subject. The one I remember most vividly is Life Skills for Kids (affiliate link) by Christine Field. It’s a great, easy read that made me realize that my kids are capable of a lot, a lot sooner than I thought they’d be.
The Value of the Team
At our house, everyone pitches in. Everyone from the youngest to the oldest works together. This helps to reinforce the idea that our family is a team. We work together for the good of the team. You’ve heard the saying, “Many hands make light work”, right? Just like on a sports team, even those personalities that naturally clash learn to work together to get the job done.
A Sense of Value
As if being part of a team isn’t enough, chores give kids a sense of value. When I tell my 7-year old what a good job she did sweeping the floor and how thankful I am for her, she believes that she has value. She’s making an important contribution to something bigger than herself.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:10 to use our gifts to serve one another. What more appropriate “one another” than your own family?
A Sense of Satisfaction
Who doesn’t appreciate a job well-done? The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when a job is completed is an invaluable gift to a child that can carry over into all aspects of his life–school, sports, and personal habits, too.
King Solomon said that there is nothing better than for a person to find enjoyment (satisfaction) in his work. (Ecclesiastes 2:24)
When kids pitch in around the house, they learn to be thankful. They know the effort it takes to prepare a meal, so they are more likely to appreciate it. They know the time it takes to clean the kitchen, so they say “thanks” when I do it for them. Gratitude contributes to a positive attitude.
This may be the most important item on my list. One day my kids are gonna grow up. One day I’m not gonna be around. But in that day, my kids will know how to cook and clean for themselves. They’ll understand that they must work for the things they want in life, and they’ll know how to work.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, ~Colossians 3:23~
Why do I call this Lazy Parenting? Because any time one of my littles wants to do something for themselves, I let them. I know, I know… It’s usually easier to just do it yourself. But I promise that if you invest just a little bit on the front end, the rewards you’ll reap later are so worth it!
My goal is to work myself out of a job… So far, it seems to be working.
And occasionally, I get a guilt-free, lazy-mommy morning.