Child labour

Axe work

When this young man grows up and leaves home (sob) he will be able to look after himself.
He will be able to cook. He won’t have to race around the supermarket buying up everything in a tin. Or live on take out. He knows the value of a home-cooked meal.
He will be able to iron a shirt and hang a shelf with ease.
He already walks the dog, makes his bed, puts away his ironing, puts a wash on in the washing machine, cleans his own rugby boots.
And he can chop wood for the fire.

He’s not earning his keep, he’s learning how to be a grown up.
As far as I’m concerned household chores are a no-brainer for kids.Β Sure they need to play and do their homework and ‘be kids’. But they also need to learn vital skills, appreciate the home they grow up in and learn responsibility.

The day his granddad taught him how to handle an axe, he was buzzing about it for weeks.
Like the responsibility and trust we put in him made him grow 5 inches.
I think he plays rugby just that little bit more passionately because he put the effort into scrubbing the mud off his boots.

Now all that is left is to teach him how to make a proper cup of tea – a mummy cup of tea – and my work here will be done.

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20 Responses to Child labour

  1. Gail Haslam says:

    I love this, something for us to aim for with the 10m old πŸ™‚ But how did tea-making not take priority?

  2. I totally agree with you except for one point which probably won't pan out as you envisage. He may be able to cook for himself but with those good looks, he probably will never have to. Did I say I totally agree with you? I totally totally agree with you. Well said.

  3. That’s brilliant. I really need to get my kids to do more for their own good as well as mine. In such a softie, yet I moan all the time about doing this sort of stuff for them. My parents fm did everything for me and as a result I am a 39yo mum of three who can’t cook and struggles to keep the house tidy!

  4. Peggy says:

    Awww Tara, he looks so grown up! where has time gone? I remember when I started reading your blog nearly 5 years ago, Mia and Dan were so young then. You can be proud, he will be a fine man!

  5. I have been starting to try and make my two oldest do more for themselves and be responsible but it’s out of necessity a the two youngest need a lot of attention! I find it hard though, it’s difficult to believe you do right for your children and all these material things give a certain sense of achievement πŸ˜‰

    I am also teaching my 10 yo to make a cup of tea but I’m very fussy too! So it is a long process πŸ™‚

  6. nickbowman says:

    Here here!

  7. Nickie says:

    Fab post TC. I've also struggled with the "perfect cuppa syndrome". Still working on it now!

  8. Julia says:

    I totally agree, I am teaching teaching my little man to do for himself, he empties the dishwasher and knows how to load and put it on, he can put a wash on, he can do himself toast and gets his own breakfast, we are not there with the tea yet, i have only just taught his father how to make the perfect cuppa πŸ™‚ He will also learn how to iron and look after a house.

  9. Yes I am with you. I taught all mine how to wash dishes, put a washing in the machine and turn it on, iron, strip and make their own beds, keep their own rooms tidy, go to the shops for bits and pieces, cook, bake and clear up after themselves. They took it in turns in hoovering the living areas, and this was not to earn their pocket money it was to teach them how to be a responsible citizen.

  10. eccy100 says:

    That's a great photo, he's growing into a very handsome young man. Absolutely concur on household chores, we've been car washing, laying/clearing table and dusting etc… I honestly think kids enjoy it, it gives them a sense of belonging and worth.

    • Tara says:

      I was thinking of you when I wrote this Erica! Kids do so enjoy it, but if you tell them it's a 'chore' and make it into something to dread then they will!
      My recent post Child labour

  11. Shell Louise says:

    My three (boy aged 13, two girls aged 5 and 7) each have a daily job sheet that they have to cross off when each job is done. It includes hoovering, dusting, filling/emptying the dishwasher/dryer/washing machine, cleaning the cooker, setting the table etc. I've just started Aiden on doing his own ironing and he's been making tea and coffee for a while (he's quite good at it now!).
    They don't get paid for it as I agree with Elaine that these are things they need to learn to be able to do and they shouldn't expect to get paid for doing them.

  12. Joanne Mallon says:

    I have one who can make a cup of tea but …er…can't really be bothered. So we've got the skills but the motivation needs work.
    My recent post It was 30 years ago today…

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