You know those parents that say, "I'll do anything for my child"? Yeah, well I'm not one of them. I mean, I will continue to support him, and encourage him, inspire him and guide him, teach him, and discipline him, all while loving him unconditionally, but there are some things I will just n e v e r do for him. Obviously kids get sick, so my below list doesn't apply to those situations, however when he is healthy and functioning, Hudson is f u l l y aware that these are his responsibilities, and no one else's.
Without further ado, here's what I won't e v e r do for my kid...
- Make his bed - I mean, I do fix it each time he finishes making it and leaves the room, but the object of the game here is to teach him this skill and let him know that a made bed is a priority in the morning.
- Clear his dishes - He's a trained robot who knows to clear his dishes from the table when he's done eating a snack or meal. This is after he asks to be excused and thanks me for his meal (duh).
- Put his toys away - I am not a maid. I am a lot of things, but I am not a maid. You played with them, you put them away. Simple.
- Put his shoes and coat away - He knows once we get in the door that his shoes go in the closet and his jacket goes on his bed so that I can hang it up for him.
- Put things in the garbage for him - Like, is this not the simplest task ever? If it's his garbage, he knows where it goes, and has known this since before he turned 1.
- Retrive something he is capable of getting himself - If he can do it, then I don't do it for him. Plain and simple.
- Put his dirty clothes in the hamper - This is actually fun for him. He shoots his clothes in like basket balls and often checks prior to by asking, "Are these jeans clean or dirty, mommy? Basket or drawer?" Ahhhhh!
- Choose his bedtime stories - He likes what he likes, and I will never interfere with that. As long as he's engaged with reading and learning, that's what I want to encourage.
- Thank people for gifts - Even when he's too shy (or pretending to be) I wait it out until he thanks the person. I don't care how awkward it gets, you're thanking that person.
- Thank people for their services - Obviously I thank people, too, for their kindness, but Hudson knows he must also thank people who have done something for us, or in particular, him. "Thanks for having us over tonight, Granny and Papa." Or, "Thanks for looking after me today, Auntie."
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to start on these things at a very young age and to always, always be consistent with them. Many of these things Hudson has been doing since he could walk and/or talk. Stick with it, be consistent. Independence, responsibility, structure and manours are things that should always be instilled in your offspring.
You and your kids will thank me later,
Photos: Nicholas Ram Photography
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