It’s amazing how early kids learn about money and how to go about getting it. Just read a post on FB that’s a fine illustration of a child’s understanding of payment for services rendered. The only problem with that is he’s five years old and although he may be joking, he’s asking his mother to pay him to help with the laundry! If you’ve read Strong From the Start – Raising Confident and Resilient Kids, you know what my answer to this child might be. Chapter 5 is entitled – “You’re Still Numero Uno – meaning parents make the major family decisions that keep the family functioning reasonably well. If I may quote from my book; “We’re all in this family, this household and this life together. We all work to make it work.” Simple, clear and yet an extremely effective way to keep parents from feeling so totally overwhelmed, exhausted and sometimes even resentful, every day.
In order to build resilience, strength and confidence in our kids, we need to allow them to be a contributing member of our family. Put more succinctly, expect them to help. As young as they may be, there’s always a little something they can do. Besides, the more they do, the more they believe they can do. You’ll be encouraging confidence in your kids and getting a well-deserved little break for yourself. As they say in today’s parlance – it’s a win/win. In addition, you wouldn’t want to send that young man off into the world without some very basic life skills – doing this own laundry being one of them. Otherwise, he may still be bringing his laundry home to you or worse, to his grandmother. I’m not kidding. Some young people do just that when they’re in college!
It’s a good idea to begin allowing your child to become confident, learn new skills (not perfect at first, but that’s okay) and be a contributor to the family function early on. Day by day you’ll be inspiring him or her to be the thoughtful, competent and self-assured person you know he/she can be.