Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mother Knows Best

Last night I had a long talk with Sarah. She has been complaining a lot lately about having to clean her room and do chores. She says that other children, for example her friends, don't have to clean their rooms or do any chores.

Of course, I had to explain to her why she has to do chores, and how doing those chores will help to prepare her for life. I explained to her how making her clean, and do laundry, and do the dishes, etc., would make it easier for to live on her own. And all of her friends who have never been taught how to do these things will be completely clueless when they go out on their own.

I also explained to her how not getting her way all of the time will prepare her for future denials. I once read in a psychiatric magazine about how all of these parents who let their children do and have whatever they want are doing such a disservice to them. When these children grow up and go out into the real world, they don't know how to cope with failure and denial. If they don't get that job or promotion that they want, they don't know how to deal with it, and usually end up depressed and needing medication and/or therapy.

We also discussed why it is so very important for her to do well in school. Not only does she need a strong work ethic, but she needs to do as much as she can to pad her college resume. The better she does in school, the better colleges she will be accepted to, and the more scholarships she'll earn to help pay for school. And since she says she wants to go to medical school, she's really going to need all the help she can get paying for it.

She said she understood everything I said to her, and that she agreed that I am only doing what is best for her and her future. Of course, I'm sure all of that will go right out the window the next time she doesn't get her way!


Andrea said...

Well you are doing all you can to help her understand...everything you said is very logical, reasonable & true. Of course, having been a teenaged girl myself...we know that they often aren't logical, reasonable or always interested in what is true. So good luck there! LOL! Like it or not now, she'll appreciate it all later when those realities set in. It really is hard when they start to realize that not everyone lives the same as our families do. Just keep up the good work!

Debbie said...

I even started with chores for Elizabeth when she turned 5. She gets 50 cents a week, but she gathers the garbage from her bathroom, her room and under my desk and dumps it in the big garbage...2x a week. When she was sick, I did it for her one day and she was upset that I did. I am cherishing that because I know that once she gets older, it might be tougher to get her to do things. For her and her age, I explained that everyone in the family needs to pitch in and help out...so we can have more family time together and that we are a team....Both girls love drying pots and pans for us....Dishes, nah, waiting....those break...LOL!

In your situation, you are right on the money and unfortunately other families and parents might not consider their children learning other responsibilities which in turn, makes your job of showing your values more difficult...