Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kid Justice

I believe it is good for kids to pitch in and help around the house. Not only does this make for a more harmonious household, but it trains them for adulthood when they will need such useful skills as vacuuming, loading the dishwasher, making beds, putting groceries away, sweeping, raking and, of course, doing laundry.
But kids do not want to do any of these things. No matter that they are the CAUSE for needing these things to be done on a daily basis. They are blind to this. I, as their mother have, in the past, failed them miserably, that is, let them get away with not doing chores, simply because it seemed easier to do said chores myself than fight with them.

"Pick up the clothes on the floor in your room," I would say to one daughter. "Aw, mom, why? Later, when I check, the floor is still littered with clothes, all except one small corner, that is clear. "I picked up MY stuff," she stated. All that other stuff is Jenny's. Jenny is a friend who she invited for a sleepover three nights previous.

"Clear the table and load the dishwasher," I say to my other daughter, after spending two hours cooking and serving her favorite dinner. "Aw, mom, why do I have to do ALL the work around here?" I leave the room. When I return in a half hour, there is exactly one fork, one knife, one plate and one glass in the dishwasher. The other dishes, pots, pans and flatware are strewn on the counter and dirty in the sink. "Why didn't you do as I asked," I barked. "I did," she said, not looking up from her Facebook page. "I loaded the things I used."

This is kid justice: "I am on the receiving end of countless thoughtful and caring deeds and yet I see none of it. I am forced into unfair child labor when required to lift any extra finger contributing to the welfare of the household of which I am so fortunate to be a part."

My 24-year-old son was home for Christmas. He cooked for us, cleaned up afterwards, folded my laundry before doing his own, walked the dogs and fed the cat without being asked. He got his siblings together to chip in on the expensive gift I had mentioned that I wanted and shoveled two feet of snow from the driveway so I could get my car out.

I like his version of kid justice better.

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