Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Learning and Growing

Last night, at Family Home Evening, my husband spoke with my kids about doing chores around the house.  We have tried different approaches to motivating them and we still get complaints and refusals... so far sounds normal for kids, right?  He began by asking them why we have them do chores - we got all kinds of answers: To help keep the house clean (11 year old); to be able to have the Holy Ghost in our home (almost 9 year old); because it's too much work for Mommy to do by herself (6 year old), because Mommy doesn't want to do it (4 year old), and because Mommy and Daddy are the meanest parents in the world (the answer suggested by my husband!)  Where all of these answers have some truth to them, except for being mean, according to my husband, they weren't the main reason.  Last night he told the kids a secret.  "We have you do chores because we're teaching you HOW to do them. Someday, you won't live at house anymore, you'll live as a grown up in your own house.  Mommy can't come and do your laundry, you have to do your laundry.  Mommy can't clean your room or bathroom or make your meals, you will have to know how to do all of those things."  He then said something that shocked the 2 boys.  "Spencer, you are more than half way to leaving our house.  Carter, you are about 1/2 way there!"  As most of the kids were fidgety, I wasn't sure they were listening.  Then, I saw the look on my 11 year old's face - I saw the light bulb turn on and I knew that he understood.  I felt at that moment that he would see chores differently and understand that his responsibility is not only to the family, but to himself.  I have high hopes that things will be different (at least for a while) with him.  I was thinking that he may be the only one that got the concept until my 6 year old raised her hand with something important to tell us.  "I know how to pour juice now, I learned how."  She understood, too!  She got that she is supposed to learn how to do these things on her own.  Phew!  2 kids got it... now whether the other 2 did or not remains to be seen.  I am hopeful that change is around the corner for all of them.

Last week was my daughter's birthday, she turned 6.  She loves feeling feminine and as most of her current friends are boys, I thought it might be nice to do something girly together.  I promised her a day of pampering, but we had not found time to do it until today.  This morning, after dropping sister off for preschool, we went to get mani-pedis.  She was so stiff at the beginning, but afterwards, she started to relax.  As we left the place, we called my mom to tell Nana about the manicure and the pedicure.  After getting off the phone, she turned to me and said, "now I know how to do TWO things for my kids..."  A wave of panic and laughter began to overtake me as I remembered our conversation last night and I thought, "oh, no! I've taught her how to pamper herself!!  That's all I need, a girl who now knows how to get manicures and pedicures."  :)  I was relieved when she finished her thought with, "... I know how to pour juice AND use a phone."  PHEW!  Yes, using the phone is a useful skill!  I'm a good parent after all.  :)  I'm pleased that she remembered the conversation from last night and that she recognized the importance of learning.  I'm excited to see what they will all learn next!