The other day, Kelli tagged me on this Facebook post…I laughed when I saw it. I was this mom. I fess up. I did this to my kids all of the time.
So here is what would happen. We were a family with five kids living at home. There were LOTS of chores.
Can you imagine… the laundry from a family of five with kids that we could never get to reuse a towel after taking a shower…or kids who needed to have farm clothes and school clothes? The laundry fell on me for the most part.
Now imagine cooking for all of them. We didn’t afford to go out to eat hardly ever and if we did, it was pizza. At the time I was doing childcare. I remember one summer I was feeding 19 people for lunch. It was crazy. We had to eat in shifts. That summer Kelli, our oldest was old enough to be a helper. I think she was 16 at the time so helping me was her summer job. Kayla was 15 so she helped a lot too.
We had one bathroom in the old farmhouse so that made it all even crazier.
Anyway…the bathroom needed to be cleaned often and Kayla became my bathroom cleaner. She was the best at it. (she truly was) I praised the heck out of her and constantly told her she was the best bathroom cleaner. It wasn’t long before cleaning the bathroom became her job…and she truly started believing she was the best bathroom cleaner EVER!
Kelli was always my best finder of lost things. To this day if I am missing something, even at my house now, I’ll call Kelli and she’ll have great suggestions on where something might be.
I think all of this was a little bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy theory. I got them to believe they were truly good at a job and they ended up taking pride in it and became the best at it.
Buck was outside helping Kramer so he never really got to the best at anything in the house.
Karl was the best lawn mower and Kalissa grew into being the best kitchen cleaner. She was probably the best cook of the bunch too…as long as we didn’t mind eating the same things over and over. She would get into a kick on making something and made it constantly. At the time she was in high school, it was a smothered chicken phase…that eventually turned into breakfast for supper phase.
I can honestly say, there were other people who could have cleaned the bathroom as good as Kayla did, find things as good and Kelli, clean the kitchen like Kalissa or even mow the lawn like Karl…but, these were the jobs the kids fell into and ended up being pretty good at-partly because of my praise of their job.
I laugh when things like this come up on Facebook and the kids suddenly realize that I was that mom. I praised them for things that were actually pretty ordinary. Now they all gang up on me for it (in a teasing way). I think it’s so cute when they figure my parenting out and as grown adults and razz me for my parenting. I razz them right back…then I gently remind them that I had five kids and ask them how good they are doing with their brood. I am almost positive I have a grandkid that will be the best lawn mower ever, someone who is great at vacuuming…or maybe someone who is the best kitchen cleaner. My kids learned parenting from me and odds are pretty good that they are going to take my parenting tricks and pass them right on to their kiddos. I’m so glad I am getting to see them all as parents. What a blessing to be able to do that.