In our home, being a part of the family means helping. Nick is expected to help Jacob, Jacob is expected to help me. Nick is also expected to help me. Rick and I obviously help the children. Rick and I help each other. "It's the rules" is what I say to my children. And, it is.
I made up that rule when Nicholas was first old enough that he wanted some responsibilities. "I want to help you!", he used to whine. I decided that by giving him some purpose, that he may get some self-gratification for it. I was right. He was indeed proud that he had accomplished some feat. He was also helping me, even if the task was so small. Nick just loved having acted like "a big boy" by doing something for me all by himself.
So, as time went on, Nick continued to help the same way that Jacob now does. Now, I have decided to take it to the next step and expect the help of my children. I am very much aware that some parents do not do this. Great for those folks. But, as for my household, we are a team. We always will be.
We all do our part to help with the smooth functioning of our home. We all chip in. The boys bring me their laundry baskets, they help carry in groceries from the car, and they pick up their toys. They both help me load the dishwasher with their dishes from meals; and, they help wipe the tables after eating. They help set the table for dinner. They have become a part of helping with many many daily tasks.
I feel that it is a good way for our children to have some responsibility. They learn that when they make a mess, it requires cleaning. Obviously, I do not want them thinking that it is OK to expect others to clean up the mess that they have made. It is their responsibility to at least help to right the wrong.
I am not trying to get out of work or crack the evil mom whip; but, I do want the children to realize that we are a family- a team. We all work together to make it work. And, in turn, we all reap the benefits. Together they make a mess, and together we all clean it up. I hope to give them a sense of teamwork and family. I do not want our children to think that helping me or my husband is a favor. It can be, but really, I feel that children should be taught to consider themselves as part of a family unit. I do help the children with these things; contrary to what some people may be thinking, I am not sitting around eating Bonbons yelling, "Mush!!!" at the kids. How proud we all feel when we dance around and give each other "high fives" when the house is so clean!
We are a team and we work together always. My children will never be alone; together our family team will accomplish anything that we want.