When you ask your child(ren) to unload groceries, empty the dishwasher or any other household chore, chose your words very carefully. They are not “helping mom.” I repeat, they are not “helping mom.” They live there too. You are not their manager or doer -- you are their teacher and mentor so that they can do these things themselves. We are preparing them for adulthood.
Also, the greatest human need is to be needed. And when we ask our child(ren) to help around the house (and we are careful not to criticize when things are not done at the pace or level that we would do) they feel needed, valued and connected to the needs of the family. It’s a win-win for all!
When we, as moms, do it all, not only do we burn ourselves out and grow resentment, we rob our children of the opportunity to be capable, needed and grow their sense of belonging to the family.
About the Author
Vanessa Elias is a mental health activist, certified parent coach, speaker, and writer featured on NPR, PBS, and in the WSJ. She is the founder of Thrive with a Guide, LLC and serves as a group facilitator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Block Party USA is her passion project. Vanessa helps parents achieve healthier family relationships and lasting, meaningful connections.