This is the 3rd time she did this, if I remember correctly.
I smiled with a great relief when J took over my duty. Just after school today, she volunteered to bathe K. More than happy, I agreed. Later, she took shower by herself. An achievement by itself.
I am delighted not because I am lazy but I can see that J has grown up and more importantly she is taking a critical step in taking responsibility of her own personal hygiene. It’s the first step to independence. I always want to instill this in them from young. And the eventual lesson is: they have to learn to face certain consequences when they do (or don’t do) certain things.
I have heard too many stories that young children today are too dependent on their domestic helpers. Sad but true, many kids can’t do even the most basic things: bathing, bed-making, doing dishes, setting up table for dinner, and more. You think that is bad enough? Check this out: some children don’t even know how to feed themselves. They need to be spoon-fed!
The reason is simple. They are deprived of the opportunity to learn how to be responsible for themselves and how to play their role in the family. Whenever there’s a problem, the maid will come to the rescue. The parents don’t even give the child a chance to experience, learn, and grow.
Other activities that I use to teach J and K about responsibility are:
- washing their own shoes
- putting toys away after playing
- putting packed meal in school bag
- helping in preparing food (such as making pancakes)
- helping in setting up table
Of course, we need to protect our children. But overprotecting them is the surefire way to producing low self-esteem people who can’t face the world when they grow up.
In order for children to learn and grow, they must experience it first hand… even when they have to come out from their comfort zone. Because grow and change only come with sacrifices. And parents have no rights to take this away from them.
If you don’t teach them how to take care of themselves now, when is the right time to do this? When you are old and frail and your child still asks you to tie his shoelaces?
It’s okay for your child to “rough it out” because when children are still young, they are easily moldable and highly adaptable. But when they are older, things will become harder as they have developed their habits.