As the mother of an official Tween, I'm learning that she is growing exponentially smarter and cooler every day. We are nearing the point where she will announce herself smarter and cooler than me! The little girl who was always so eager to help is being replaced with the one who is eager to help if it's a job she likes, she feels like it, and if it pays.
Since they were small, our kids have had chores. Now we've even added the opportunity for jobs, which are different than chores. We define chores as the tasks that help to keep our family running--making beds, folding clothes, putting away dishes--you know, the daily stuff. Chores are the way that we all work together for our household. Jobs are those tasks that are above the usual kid duties and would just be great to have help with--weeding the flower beds, sorting bolts, shoveling snow--the extras that usually fall on the parent list.
Work is nothing new to our children but the cooler you get, apparently the more you need to whine about the idea of work. Just this evening as I asked our daughter to put dishes away and clean up the playroom, that familiar sound started again--you know, the one that sounds like a far off calf moaning. She doesn't refuse, just a little sound to officially register her complaint.
Tonight was different though, as she whined I had a new thought. Because I love my daughter and want her to have a healthy respect, appreciation, and sense of responsibility for her life I am going to love that sound. If I caved in every time she didn't want to do something I would be teaching her to be entitled--to parents who cater to her, to the ability to skirt responsibility, to a life of leisure without concern for anything around her. Because I love my daughter, I am going to do my best to teach her to be a responsible young woman.
So now, that faint calf moan in the distance sound will be My Anthem of Good Parenting!
Doing what is best for her even when she wants the world to know that she'd rather be playing Legos!