We're supposed to teach them life skills that will help them for the rest of their...well...(wait for it)...lives. We're supposed to teach them how to manage money, clean the house, do laundry, dishes, windows, weeding, paying tithing, do their homework, write thank you cards, give presents, eat politely, speak politely, etc. and that is just the beginning (or the middle, depending on how old your child is).
We're supposed to do this. So why is it so much easier just to do it for them?
See, today I was done. Finished. Again. (Tends to happen every 3 weeks). Instead of getting them off of the computer to help me clean the house (in a fury of frustration), I sent them outside. I gave them coats and shoes and even provided a snack. Baby was napping; children were playing. I cleaned the house. Not all of it, mind you, but most of it. I got rid of more ants. I took laundry out of the dryer. I did dishes. I vacuumed. I picked up toys, papers, crayons, books, homework, Go-gurt garbage, granola bar wrappers, cheerios stuck to the floor, and cat food. And now the house is nice (okay, the bottom half is nice). I lit a candle. It smells like Christmas.
Now, if I'm supposed to teach my children to clean and work, how did I do that by shooing them outside to play? How do I do that by picking up their junk? Their annoying junk?
Trying to find the compromise between childhood and responsibility is very hard. Some days, I help them clean, we do it together, we are happy. Other days, I'm a raging lunatic, yelling at them to "clean it up or you don't get TV for a week!" And then there are days like today, where I send them away and happily do it myself.
Where do you find the compromise? How do you manage the teaching of life skills?[ Okay, mostly just cleaning skills (street smarts and being polite we'll save for another post).]