Child Labor Laws

By | 9:00 AM 6 comments
This one has soap box potential. Consider yourself warned.

We had just gotten home from the grocery store with a van full of food to bring in and put away.
It was past dinner time.
Nobody had napped.
Jeremiah had to work late so I was by myself.
I was having numerous contractions and knew I needed to lay down.

And so, I asked every kid to help carry in the groceries with me and then asked Ella if she would get the boys in their pajamas while I worked on putting away the groceries and starting dinner.

She did a stellar job.

And we all got to eat dinner a little sooner.
And I got to lay down a little earlier.

I have read and overheard on several different occasions lately of other mothers proudly announcing their opinions that it was "unfair" to "burden" their older child(ren) with caring for their younger child(ren).


To put it nicely, I just sort of scratch my head at this train of thought. I don't get it. I feel absolutely no angst or guilt about expecting all family members to do their share of work and help each other out when necessary. I don't see any benefit in the whole coddling thing, and I make no apologies for it.

While I am careful not to delegate any responsibilities relating to safety to Ella (at least at this age) I can only think of the good things that come about from her sharing in the responsibilities of the family in age appropriate ways. Or possibly in some maybe not so age appropriate ways, as I don't know many other five year olds that can get their younger brothers ready for bed.

Then again, I don't know of any other five year olds that have a four and three year old brother either, ha!

I can, however, think of numerous character flaws that might arise out of raising a child to grow up thinking that they shouldn't be made to carry any responsibility within a family.

I can't wait for the day that Ella can actually baby sit for us. Or for the boys to cook dinner for me. And you had better believe they will all be pitching in with laundry. Glory hallelujah, I can see a day coming!

I am trying to raise self-sufficient children, after all.

Ok, stepping off my soap box here.

Am I completely off my rocker here? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue...

In the meantime, I have to go check on my son who is currently cleaning my living room.

**Actually, he is just fulfilling his "consequence" for deciding it was a grand idea to break his pretzels up into little tiny pieces and fling them all over my living room.**
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totally agree! you're not off your rocker! we have a 5, 4 this month, 2.5, and are getting ready to bring home our 8 month old. our children are learning responsibilities in the home, too! and our son likes to vacuum just for fun!

Tasha Via said...

Totally agree!

Here, here and AMEN!:)

Heather said...

LOVE IT! But you know I get the same grief about Taylor. She has become a beautiful, helpful, loving, and responsible young lady.

Amanda said...

Haven't seen you in forever (since the old high school days), but stumbled upon your blog from another, and have been enjoying your posts. this one "struck a chord" with me too, because i think you're right on track. i've been composing a post in my head on this very thing and as soon as i can get the pics i want to go with it, i'll actually write it. my daughter (who will be 22 months tomorrow) already has "chores" and it's GOOD for her. she helps load/unload the dishwasher, feeds the dog, and *helps* me clean. :-)

Renae said...

You said it perfectly!!:) And "Pfffft" to everyone else!;p

Allison said...

for me, it is sometimes hard to switch roles from being the sister to the babysitter; from being one of the kids to being in charge. but since I am older by 8 and 10 years, I can transition pretty easily.
-alli d.