Next year my son will start secondary school, and that is a scary thought! I remember starting High School myself, and I remember how scary it was. But only this is different, Jordan has learning difficulties. Starting High School and being the youngest ones there is not good, you feel vulnerable, you feel exposed, and lets face it, kids can be cruel. I remember kids being picked on from everything from the shoes they wore, to the bag they were carrying, or even what they looked like. I wasn’t immune from the bullying, and I had the odd moment where people said nasty things, and in all honesty the worst kind of time for me was my third year in high school when I got really awful acne. No word of a lie, my hormones must of been in overdrive and my back was covered. It didn’t help that we had to do swimming, in costumes that showed all my spotty back. I would of tried any acne treatments available, and I even ended up on a long course of tablets from the doctor to help it. But that of course didn’t stop the comments and remarks. Instead I found every excuse possible to get out of swimming, from my heavy period to sports injury. The teachers would just give me an hours detention if I didn’t do the swimming, it didn’t bother me, I would of rather spent an hour stood in the sports hall than even spent a minute exposing my back to the world.
Let’s face it: as a busy mum, sometimes you just can’t get all of the household chores done yourself. Whether it be making the kids’ beds in the morning, wiping down the kitchen countertop for the umpteenth time, or doing an emergency load of laundry to get the sauce stains out of your daughter’s favourite white dress, you can never quite cross every item off your list of chores. Wouldn’t it be great to have a little help around the home?
If you’ve begun to feel more like a maid than a mum, you might want to consider asking the kids to muck in with the chores. The most obvious pro to assigning chores to the kids is that the more helping hands you have, the less work there will be for everyone to do. Assigning your kids two or three age-appropriate tasks to do every day will significantly reduce your own workload. Have them make their own beds, tidy up their rooms, fold the laundry, or take out the rubbish so that you can focus on more important responsibilities. Older children will be able to help with more complicated tasks; they could help prepare meals, mow the lawn, wash the car, or sell my computer games over the internet to help reduce clutter in the home.
Kids who do housework also learn some important life skills, such as responsibility, accountability, and teamwork. These skills will prove valuable in other areas of their life, such as school and work, so instilling these values now can help your children to become more successful adults in the future. And even though your children will likely complain about doing chores, they’ll ultimately feel a sense of accomplishment when they lend a helping hand.
On a more practical note, learning how to keep a tidy house is an essential step to your children becoming fully functional adults. The sooner they learn how to sweep the floors and water the plants, the better off they’ll be when they move out of the house and try living on their own for the very first time. While your kids won’t understand this benefit until they’re older, it’s important to start helping them establish their independence now.
Of course, you should be prepared to remind the kids often of their responsibilities, as they’ll likely be reluctant to join in with the housework. Consider developing some sort of incentive system for your kids when they go above and beyond the call of duty as well.
What do you think? Do you ask your kids to help with the chores and if so, how many chores do you think are appropriate for them to do? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!
But my acne problems disappeared after a while, and it made me stronger. It made me also realise how other kids feel, and I made more effort to talk to the kids who were not as popular and even some who were bullied worse than I ever was. But what about my son, he is not as strong as me mentally, he has Autism, he has ADHD and he knows he is different. What if the kids pick on him? He has feelings too, and I won’t be there to protect him from them and stick up for him. That is the hard part.