Friday, February 22, 2013

Parenting and Expectations

A few days ago I was watching Steve Harvey's talk show and a mother had written into the show saying that she needed a break from her household duties because she's the one that does ALL of the housework and chores. (Everything from cooking to cleaning to laundry and even cleaning her children's bedrooms.)

This woman's philosophy is that "if you want something done right you have to do it yourself." On one hand I kind of understand that feeling because I know I'm a very particular person and I like things done a certain way and when you're asking other people to do things for you, you have to accept the fact that there's a good chance they're going to do things differently than you would. It's important to remember that when it comes to being part of a family or when you live with someone, everyone has to do their share.

Anyway, this woman lives with her husband and three daughters (whose ages are 10, 15 and 17). Steve Harvey gave the mother a "day off" and sent her to a spa, leaving her husband and daughters to clean the house, do the laundry and bake cupcakes for a school project. These kids made such a fuss about having to clean their own bedrooms (which I found appalling because every kid should be responsible for cleaning their own room!). These kids didn't know the first thing about easy cleaning jobs and simple cooking. (The cooking portion of the task was especially sad because none of the girls–or even the dad–knew anything about measurements or basic cooking skills.)

I was completely aghast at the situation and wanted to tell the mother that she's spoiling her kids and is doing them a huge disservice by not expecting them to help out around the house. She's also really missing out on some great teaching opportunities. Doesn't she know the philosophy that says, "if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he'll eat for life" (or however the saying goes). How does this mother expect her girls to grow up to become responsible adults if she doesn't teach them and expect more out of them?!

I always had to do chores when I was a kid, and although I didn't really enjoy doing them at the time, I'm SO GLAD that my parents expected that out of me! Seeing this family's situation just reaffirmed to me what a good job my parents did raising me. I'm so glad that they had such high expectations for me, and I'm especially grateful for a mother that taught me how to do things.


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