Monday, February 18, 2008

Making Children Independent

When children are small, we as parents do everything for them. We feed them, clothe them, bathe them, wash their tush, clean them; in other words we do everything for them.

As they grow slightly older one must encourage the child to take care of his things. Beginning with his toys. At the end of the day they need to keep back all their toys in its place. Most mothers agree how difficult it is to get them to clear things and how we would still have to do this at the end of every day despite being tired. One can make it like a game for the children, like who is going to pick up most number of toys and keep it in the right place. We need to keep inventing innovative ideas to make this cumbersome job more interesting!

Teaching them how to make the bed, how to fold their clothes, how to bathe, and how to lay the table are some of the things which needs to be taught early on as later it will be difficult for us to get things done by them. When the maid doesn't turn up I ask my children to help me in wiping the dishes, sweeping the floor, mopping and so on. They enjoy these activities as long as we as parents make them understand that this is their house and these are their things and we need to keep it clean. Though my mother-in-law feels that these chores are not for boys I tell her that they have to learn these things so that they will be more independent. Slowly she is coming around and appreciating these things.

Now my children suddenly seem to have developed a penchant for cooking!! I am glad as this is also an art that they need to learn. So they can now light the gas, roll a nice chapathi and love to help me cut vegetables. I found that this was another way of bonding with my children and spending moments of joy.

Just yesterday I got a pleasant surprise when I found that both the kids had closed their room door and were inside for a long time. When I went inside I found that they had changed the entire layout of their bedroom and I felt so happy to see them planning and arranging their bookshelves according to the topics of the books. It was great.

So I feel that it is really worth starting out when they are young and enjoy some restful time as your child does things for himself and one fine day I wish to see my children preparing good breakfast on a Sunday morning all set and waiting for me to enjoy a sumptuous meal. What do you say - wanna join me?


Shailaja said...

Hi Shobana,

I am sure it feels great to see kids arrange their rooms and help their mom.
Touching blog.


Seema said...

A couple of months back, I taught my 11 year old son, Jatin, to make tea,(making sure he understands and appreciates the responsibility that comes, when given charge of something as important as fire and LPG). He surprised me by making tea as good as I do. This is because, I often find him very interested in cooking/watching cookery shows on TV etc. Since, he and I spend a lot of time together, I always felt that because he watches me cook, he has developed an interest in cooking. Reading your blog, Shobana, I now feel probably it is common with children at this age. For over a year now, it is Jatin's responsibility to lay the table, clear the table, etc. at breakfast/lunch dinner times, whenever we eat together. Initially he had to be cajoled, but now, it has become a habit with him. So on holidays, whenever we eat together, we are all able to leave the dining table together, unlike earlier!!!


Anonymous said...

That's really good Seema,more mothers have to be aware of this and irrespective of their gender children should be taught the dignity of labour starting from home.