servant to your child

Providing For Your Child & Boundaries

Do you feel that your job is to provide for your child and to do most of the jobs around the house? And do you feel frustrated when your child refuses to tidy up after themselves, and whinges and whines whenever they’re asked to help? When you think about it, if your child expects you to do all the jobs around the house, you’ve effectively trained them to expect that, by consistently doing it.

There is a saying – ‘In no society is a slave ever respected.’ When you act like a servant for your child, your child comes to the conclusion that that is your job to do all the housework and clear up after them. But how could that be damaging your child?

Raise Self Esteem

Well, by doing everything for your child, you are raising your child to be a victim in life. A child who doesn’t feel competent, empowered, and able to contribute doesn’t have good self-esteem. They feel useless and unable to contribute to the family. Other people, including you, call them lazy, thoughtless or spoiled, and so they start to believe that. Why wouldn’t they? There’s enough proof when they won’t lift a finger to help. They start to think of themselves as weak and incompetent.

However, your job as a parent is to raise a child who can be a strong, independent adult. Who is able to look after themselves and do all the jobs you currently do for them? They need to learn to cook meals, clean a house, wash up, shop, do the laundry, clear up their belongings, etc. etc. If you don’t teach your child to do these things you will be setting them up to be disliked and despised by every flatmate and future partner they’ll ever have.

Make Your Child Independent

If you want to look your future daughter- or son-in-law in the eye and know that your child is independent and able, then you have to start now- with your child at this age – and make sure that by the time they’re 18 they have all the life skills they’ll need. And can clear up after themselves and keep.

Your child needs to take on jobs at home, for love. Not for payment – just because it’s part of being a family. Your role is to show them how to do it, help them learn how to do it properly, and then find a way to help them to do it regularly, reliably and consistently, so that they learn what it’s like to feel able to do a job well. Not getting your child to help around the home could be one of the worst parenting mistakes you make. When you understand why it’s so important it’s easier to stick to your guns. You might start with getting your child to wash up or load the dishwasher, help cook meals, wash floors, do dusting or vacuuming, hang washing out to dry. And gradually you can increase that so that the whole family pitch in to help. And you have more fun time to enjoy being a parent and spending quality time with your children.

Give Your Child The Strength To Grow

One last fact. A child who does regular jobs around the home is less likely to be bullied. Why? Because they feel more able. They don’t feel like a ‘victim’ in life. And when another child tries to pick on them, they feel more able to stand up for themselves. So in getting your child to help at home, you’ll be raising a child you can be proud of, set them up to be successful in life, and help your child to feel strong, competent and able!

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

Need help now? Ready to explore whether investing in some tailor-made parenting sessions would be right for you and your family? Book your FREE 20-minute call with Elizabeth here