My sister in law visited me last summer, with her two kids, a boy and a girl to see my little daughter who was only nine months then. Her daughter was three then and son was eighteen months. With two children around it’s difficult to get “ME” time. SO I asked her to take her son along with her to the market and we three would join her later.
With an infant, you can never be sure of anything. I had already booked my cab and my sweetie pooped. It’s very natural of kids to do the right things at wrong time. You all must have experienced it many times too and would agree with me.
And on top of that, the cab person wasn’t able to locate the house. He was ringing me time and again to know my exact position and I had so much to do. I had to clean her, her milk had to be prepared, water bottle and what not. I was cursing myself for being so poor in managing things and not foreseeing the situation.
Yelling, screaming, talking to myself I said “God, wish I could get some help. We all should have gone together. I made a wrong choice”.
I had not finished saying yet and that small little three years old said, “Arpita mom, u don’t worry. I am here. I can help you.”
I was stunned to hear her say that. I assured her I am fine and will manage, expecting less of any help and more of chaos from her. But she was like, no I will help.
So I agreed to take her help. I was cleaning my daughter and dictating her to pack the things she can. In a hurry I forgot to tell her to keep thermos of hot water in the bag. When I came back she questioned, “Arpita Mom, how will you prepare milk without hot water? Won’t you need a bib and a napkin too?”
I was so impressed by her and inspired by her mom, who was teaching her all the right things from the very start.
That small girl taught me the big lesson of life, “raising responsible children”. Had her mother not instilled in her that helping habit, she would have been like most of the kids I see, totally dependent on parents.
It’s very important as a parent to take the lesson early. There’s no right age to engage your kids in small activities at home, where they can be of use. You have to decide and see for your child and start with tiny steps. Engage them in placing things at right place, let them prepare their bags, ask them to keep their clothes for washing in laundry bag, make them arrange their toys and the list is endless. If you keep waiting for the right time to come, then you might end up waiting endlessly.
You might come across people who would question your parenting, if they see you engaging your child in house-work. Some people might argue, it’s not the age to work but to play. Remember adding fun factor to work is up to your skills.
To be a good parent who is there to raise responsible children I have made this three-point rule.
- Going slowly with those baby steps
Engaging your child one by one in small house-work is the key here. I have started taking help from my daughter in arranging utensils in my kitchen. She is happy to find that glass from a tub full of utensils and feels proud when she puts in the right drawer.
- Sharing with your kid
Share your joy, share your sorrow or share your candy. But be an example yourself. When their tiny mind sees you sharing things they take it to be the way of life.
- Ignoring disapproving comments
Many people might not like my little daughter helping me clean the dirt from my table but I have stopped paying attention to such advices which I feel are not worthy off.
When your kids will be engaged in the work, they will feel valued. They will become more compassionate and will be willing to offer their help to people in need. Two most precious qualities an individual can have will be imbibed in them for life!