Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 30: Make Staying Organized Part of the Family Culture

You know of my struggles in this area with my own family.

While my grandmother gave me the example of keeping a house clean and tidy, my mom did not. My Mom is not my grandmother's daughter, but her daughter-in-law. But, as Mom tells the story, even her own mother despaired of teaching my Mom how to keep house, and so, unlike her sisters, she wasn't taught.

And I'm not sure that if she had known she would have taught me. She was a career woman while I was growing up--and for most of it a single parent. As I am learning now, it takes a lot of energy to teach kids to do things they'd rather not do. If I could turn back the clock, I would. If I knew then what I know now about habits, I would have persisted better when they were younger and not worried so much about the whole issue of rewards and internal motivation.

But things are changing. I am no longer the chief cook and bottlewasher in my home--well, maybe I am the chief, but I have a crew (motely though they may be) now. Thank goodness.

ETA: You can catch all the posts in the series here.


Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

Oh, I hear you on this one! So loud and clear. When my twins were small, I worked full-time as a teacher. Sure, summers were great--but teaching is more than a full-time job during the school year.

I knew I should be making them do more and giving them the time to learn, but I just couldn't see a way to do it. Yes, it was MUCH easier (and often necessary) to just do things for them.

Fast forward to the nearly-16-year-olds I have now. Trying to transform well-ingrained habits over the past 3 years or so has been painful. Last summer we declared that we would no longer be making breakfasts and lunches. We have kids who go without food rather than prepare it themselves!

I will stop now. Just know: You're not alone!

Alana in Canada said...

Oh Rita! I am so sorry they'd rather go hungry. That's got to hurt.

onshore said...

I'd also rather go hungry than prepare a meal :( But eventually I have to.

I'm not too sure this is something that you need to teach. My mom is not interested in cleaning or organizing at all and yet I love it (atleast the organizing part) and my mom's mom was always very neat and I think she did teach my mom but my mom never found it worthwile to learn, she's just not interested. I'm more inclined to think that keeping house is something you will learn only if you want to.

Alana in Canada said...

Onshore--that may be true. Good point.

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