‘The ultimate goal of parenting is to make ourselves (parents) redundant from child’s life’. When I heard this advice during a parenting session, I was left amazed. Wow! What a statement!! And it was contrary to what I have seen parenting done in Indian culture.
The more I thought about it, I became more intrigued. We are told minimum household tasks before marriage. We are considered ‘children’ until we are married.
As I moved to another country, I observed how the school system worked here. The aim of the school is to make child/ren self dependant. The school encouraged kids to do their own tasks depending on their age. The more I tried to reason it out, the more loved the idea of independence of kids regarding their chores/tasks.
However, we do not tell our kid/s household jobs for various reasons listed below:
- Kid/s are too little
- Because of kid/s gender
- We have household help/maids
- Kid/s take more time to complete tasks
- Over pampering/ being overprotective by family members (specially grandparents)
Effects of non assignment of household tasks to kid/s are as follows:
- This does not help kid/s to become a well developed adult/s
- Kid/s may not value hard work of parents/ adults around them
- Kid/s do not become resilient
- They become dependent on others
But, as informed adults, we can change this scenario and be a catalyst in our child/rens’ life for their better and independent future. We need to make our kid/s understand their role in household tasks.
We can do so by:
- Start assigning kid/s tasks at an early age
- Assign age appropriate tasks as per their age. Eg. 4 yr old – can be told to pack away their toys; 5 yr old – putting their school stuff on place; 6 yr old – keeping dishes in sink
- In case there is house help: ask kids to at least keep their plates in sink; soiled clothes in laundry basket
- Be gender neutral in assigning household tasks
This timely assignment of household tasks to kid/s will help them in their future when they leave home. It will instil life skills in them. The best outcome of this will be Self belief in child/ren to face life independently.
Do mention other ideas/steps which can be taken relating to assign of tasks to kid/s.
Shilpa Naik (c) 2018