What a Meany!

10 Dec


A few weeks ago, I may or may not have received a puzzled/confused/incredulous look from a mother when I was in Barnes and Noble with the children I care for. We were preparing to leave for their movement class, and I had just refused to put the books they had been looking at back for them. I did not use a mean voice, and I said something along the lines of, “no, I will not put those back for you. If we take books out, we need to put it back together. I’m happy to help you.”


Now, I could just be misinterpreting the look that came my way, but it certainly made me think about how some parents, or nannies, may think that I am too tough on children. Let me follow that up by saying that I would do anything for the kids I take care of, and I am certainly guilty at least once a day for doing a chore they are expected to do just because it is easier than having them “help” me with it. If there are a few toys left out that someone may step on, I may go ahead and throw a few of them back into the bin. Or, if one of them pulls the entire contents of their PJ drawer out, I will fold all the laundry but have them help me to put them back into the drawer.


I think we are doing children a disservice if we do every single thing for them.


I was BLOWN AWAY when I started working with a family where the two year old made her bed every morning. To say I was impressed was an understatement. I had no idea that if I was just consistent in my requests/expectations of their daily “chores” that it was even possible to have them start to help with these activities. Since then, I have been reinforcing the fact that we should at least “try” to clean up a mess or do our “jobs” (I refer to chores as jobs), and this is a theme that really translates into other areas as the children grow older. This teaches them to be self-sufficient, confident, and responsible kids, and what could be more helpful than an extra set of hands to a busy mommy?!


Having children help with chores isn’t crazy….unless maybe you ask them to patch the roof, that is!


And one last thing, why DO kids not realize that I cannot pick up one of them when I am already carrying three? And I don’t know about you, but I am not very good at tying a shoe when I am driving 😉




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