Fostering Responsibility Part 1: Cleaning is for Kids

Part of being a successful human is the ability to take responsibility for yourself, to pull your own weight in society. There is also a time honored tradition to get someone else to handle that shit so you don’t have to.  If you have kids, then you can kill two birds with one stone: teach them to be responsible by shirking your own duties.

How, you ask? It’s a rather simple concept called delegation. Even though it is easy, depending on how you execute the plan, the outcomes will vary—meaning you can either choose to teach your offspring the things you will delegate or just give it to them and have confidence they will figure it out along the way.

The spin depends on what sort of emotional trauma you want to inflict on your spawn.

So. What kind of things can you comfortably delegate to your little one? My initial answer is everything and anything, but for those of you who lack imagination, there will be a few different posts on the sorts of things you can delegate to your spawn and what sort of reaction they evoke. 

Today’s delegation topic is maid duty.

Many parents already have modified versions of this with chore charts and the like. It’s a good start, but it should be amped up. Taking out the garbage is one thing, but the kid should also know the ins and outs of recycling, landscaping upkeep (bonus points for winter and summer gardens), bathroom sanitizing, dish scrubbing and polishing, floor maintenance, and dust removal, to name a few. Now, I’m not talking about the once a week you have to do this and go about your merry way, sort of maid duty. I’m talking daily-get-the-rubber-gloves-out kind of detailed cleaning. If you can’t see your reflection in your baseboards, the kid isn’t trying hard enough.

There’s also some question as to how young parents can start their offspring on doing chores. My response is, if they can hold a rag, they can clean.

Don’t take it easy on them. Little humans are springy and resilient. They can crawl under houses and exterminate rats. They can re-shingle a roof. They can repair garage doors.

The best part is that you can let them learn all about responsibility by letting them take on yours.

Smart parenting right there.


***Disclaimer***Azra has been around children for centuries. While not having any of his own, part of being an exiled angel means blending in on earth. As he traveled the earth, he picked up on a lot of parenting practices across the globe. This blog is meant to share his parenting wisdom with a new generation. And to win a bet.

*Note: any advice given is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally. Please do not exercise it upon any living being, child or otherwise.*