THEY MADE THE MESS.
Since day one these little people have created big messes and it only gets worse the older they get. Blow outs in their diapers to messy eating to dress up playing etc. I’ve watched my kids toss the item in their hands to the ground as they are distracted by the next shiny object. Here is an example: we were at a friends home yesterday and my lady friends and I helped her clean up her living room which was legotized by our children. Not 3 minutes later her once empty floor looked like this:Notice there are no longer any kids in the room. It’s because they took these out, got distracted by something else and then left it all out. Again.
They actually (mostly) like the work.
No really! At certain ages the kids LOVE to help. If you are not capitalizing on this to teach them good habits you are going to end up a) re-teaching them the “right” way b) un-teaching the wrong way and the worse c) fighting against their resistance.
Someday they are going to be married.
They will be married to someone and you know who will be blamed if said child of yours is a slob and does not help with household chores. That’s right, mama, you! Not that it’s fair (because dad’s are NEVER blamed, case in point: child who falls into gorilla pit while both parents are there) but if you truly care for your child’s future marriage, you will make sure that you have taught them to pick up their underwear for heaven’s sake! As a side note, you are sure going to hope that the parents of your future daughter/son-in-law are doing the same.
Children learn valuable character traits
They need to be decent people they need chores to learn things from completing chores and doing their share around the house. Things like responsibility, respect, diligence, selflessness, obedience and self-control. You know, things you’d like to see in all adults.
They were not born to be a prince or princess. Nor did you have them to be their slave.
I don’t know how often I say that (maybe to often.) Today in particular as I scrubbed oatmeal off the wall next to our garbage. I am not your slave. I am not here to allow you to be a slob and do things half way. I am not here to clean your room and make sure that you aim for the toilet water instead of the floor. Entitlement is a HUGE problem with teens and young adults right now. How do we moms nip this in the bud? Make them clean up their own pee for one.
It makes a good punishment.
You want to whine? Go transfer the laundry. Hit your sibling? Go wash the living room windows. Spill oatmeal all over the wall and garbage? Scrub the kitchen floors from corner to corner! My good friend, A, made her two boys each scrub the toilet. Guess what? They stopped peeing all over it when they saw how disgusting the chore was.
It helps keep us from losing our s***.
Nothing makes me crazier then finding an area I worked hard to clean messy 4 minutes later. It will take LOTS of work but if we can teach our kids to put stuff away right away then we will not have to tell our kids to clean it up later.
Seriously! I have 5 kids. They create a lot of mess. I am only one person. I don’t have the time to clean every mess in the house and still manage the other 50 thousand tasks that I have to do every day and every week. Things like cook. Or budget. Or read a stinking book because I want to read it! Or have a (insert your own) beverage…in one sitting.
They are more then capable of it.
My two year old can throw away her own garbage and put her clothes in the hamper. She can put most of her toys away. My 6 year olds can fold and put away there own clothes. The older four can load AND unload the dishwasher. They are capable of also washing the toilet and cleaning the bathroom. Why are other kids not doing this? Because we moms are not teaching them or we are bits of control freaks with what we see it the “right” way to do things. I don’t care if the kids fold their clothes perfectly as long as it’s in a drawer and I can ‘t see it. We moms need to let go a little. A 6 year old is never going to do it perfectly but if we keep training them they will do it “well enough.”
It’s my job.
I’m a mom. It’s my full time job. That means that it’s my job to raise fully self-sustainable children. It’s my job to make sure they know how to #adult. Once upon a time I invited a teen to come watch my 4 young children. I put 2 boxes of roni-mac-n-cheese (my kid’s version of macaroni and cheese) and she had no idea how to make it. A teenager didn’t know how to boil water and make one of the easiest meals on this planet. Needless to say, I didn’t invite her back to watch them again. Why? Because if she couldn’t manage boiling water, how could I trust that she new how to take care of my kids?? This situation might seem like an extreme case but their are MANY videos like this one that exist and they are starting to hold college classes titled “Adulting 101.” Get the picture?? Let’s not make this a class our kids take!