Is it just me or does anyone else’s kids automatically have tired limbs and headaches and so tired that they can’t help do chores? I might expect those reactions from teenagers but when my 4 yr old tells me, “Mommy I can’t help change the sheets my legs are too tired”, as she rolls around on the floor…the southern mama in me comes out! “Girl you better get up off that floor right now.” “I don’t care that you didn’t sleep good and think you’re too tired to do chores.”
That was the morning I just had with my child. I had already forewarned her that we were doing chores today. I turned off cartoons and blasted country music to get us in cleaning mood. I thought I had set the stage for peaceful housework with my tiny, and that backfired in my face! So I demanded that she go to her room and think about her behavior. As I strip the sheets off my bed, all I could think about was how ungrateful she is being. My four year old.
The southern mama in me stayed present as I went into her room and told her that she was not going to be an ungrateful brat. Mind you, my 4 yr old is very advanced for her age. It’s like I’m practically talking to a 10 yr old most days. I proceeded with this… “Your daddy goes to work every day to give us this beautiful house. He makes sure that he has the money to buy you all the things you want and need. His job is to go to work every day so I can stay home with you and to make sure our bills are paid. My job is to take care of you, to cook you three meals a day, and to do chores. You are 4 yrs old so there are a lot of things you can’t do yet. So that’s why mommy cleans a lot. But there are a few things you CAN do and you WILL, or I’m going to start taking all your stuff away.” (Insert deep breath to continue my rant) “Do you understand me?!” She replies with “Yes man. But don’t take my stuff away!” I said “Baby, there are so many kids in the world that would love to have the things you have. But if you can’t help make your bed, I’m gonna take your bed away and you can sleep on the floor. If you can’t help fold your laundry, I’m gonna take your clothes away and then what are you going to wear? If you can’t pick up your toys, I’m going to take your toys away, and then what are you going to play with?” By this time I had made my point. And I know she understood me because she said “yeah there are lots of kids that don’t have a bed to sleep in.” I affirmed her thought and told her I was going to finish making my bed.
As I walked away I thought, oh crap! Now I have to live up to my word so she knows there is more to mom than just hot air! So I brainstorm where is this stuff going to go if it gets taken away? Ha! She would lose her mind if I put it in a bag like I’m going to throw it away. Which I have no intentions of doing. But I need her to know that I am serious! Was I tough on her? Absolutely!
But my job in this life is to raise my daughter in a generation of entitlement. Everyone gets a trophy for participating. Everyone gets what they want because mommy and daddy hand it to them instead of making them work for it. And that’s not ok with me. I believe in a good strong work ethic. I believe in working hard for everything you’ve got, want, or need. I would like to say that nothing is handed to you. Nothing in this life comes for free. But that’s the society we live in today. Everybody wants something for nothing. And I refuse to bring my child up that way.
I will not pay her allowance because it is her job to clean up after herself. If she wants that toy or to go to the movies with her friends later in life, she will have to do something to earn that “pay”. Extra chores above and beyond what is expected of her. As a kid I remember being so mad that I was made to do so many chores or even any kind of manual labor. And now that I am raising a child of my own, I am grateful for my upbringing. I mean I am grateful for my upbringing in many ways. But I don’t have an entitled bone in my body. I don’t expect anything for free. And if I’m not doing a good enough job at work, (when I worked 😉) I couldn’t expect more money for it.
That’s the life lessons I want to teach my child. There is so much more to learn in life than test scores at school. I want my daughter to be a good person, with a good heart and good intentions. That’s when I will know that my parenting is successful! I already get to reap those benefits and I remind her every single day of the good heart that God has given her! And when I say my prayers every day, you better believe that I continue to pray for her heart. I pray that she will seek Gods heart and to be the best little person that she can be!
What are your thoughts? How are you raising your kids in this entitled world? Comment here or shoot me an email! I’d love to hear from you!!