Looking back at how my parents raised me, I realize how important the lessons of responsibility are to children.
I remember my father always reminding me to clean my room. He would make me take out the garbage, mow the lawn, help wash his car and clean the garage. He would offer to wash the dishes if I dried them and vice versa. No, it wasn’t a real offer, it was his way of telling me what I was going to do, but giving me a small say in the matter.
My mother taught me how to separate the colors when washing clothes, how to iron and fold sheets. She taught me how to dust, polish furniture, how to set the table, how to sew on a button and how to keep our home looking spotless.
My father told me time and time again to stand up straight. How to shake a person’s hand and how to speak up with authority.
My mother was supportive. SHE was the one who bought my first set of drums from my cousin. She was the one who said I could make it as a musician. And I did.
I know things are different at my ex-wife’s place, but there is very little I can do about that. All I know is what goes on at my home. When the kids are with me, they know to set the table for the dinner that I cook. They also sometimes help make the food. After we eat, they clear the table, they sweep the floor, and wipe the table and counters. When they sleep over, they make their bed in the morning.
After school each day, they know not to come in my place and drop everything to go play. They must hang up their coats and put their shoes in the right place. If they get a chance to play, they take toys out and put them away after they are done. I make sure their room in the same condition that they found it. My 9-year-old daughter knows how important it is to have her homework done before she gets a chance to play.
I am starting to notice how my 5-year-old son gets up in the morning, before I do, and dresses himself. He is SO proud. He also tells me to look in his room because he already made his own bed! My daughter makes it priority to have her hair washed and styled before we have breakfast in the morning. She also sets the table before we all have breakfast.
While it’s not perfect, after three years, it seems like we are starting to get into a groove with how things are run at daddy’s house. It can be rough on a single person to run a home. I don’t recommend it and I still don’t see the attraction. But, since I was forced into this life (temporarily), I will make the best out of difficult situation.
I love the day-to-day aspects of raising children and think having a solid foundation like I had helps. I feel it is important to pass on these values to our children.
I don’t know what other people do, but I feel it is important to teach responsibility to our children and to hold them accountable. It helps prepare them for life on their own. Many of these life lessons last a lifetime.