But today marks the end of a beautiful and amazing era: my little helper isn’t so little anymore and he has now decided he hates chores. Say it isn’t so! I had mistakenly believed this time would never come. I had always assumed that since cleanliness seemed like second nature to my little boy, I would never have to worry about him. Boy, was I wrong!
This evening turned into a huge battle with my son over a tiny little chore…something he used to volunteer for with excitement. Now he tells me that chores aren’t any fun, and I am mean to make him do any work around our house. His words cut me to the deepest part of my heart. Once I was so proud of his strong work ethic and desire to be helpful. Now, I’m left wondering where I went wrong.
In reality, though, my son’s current state of mind has absolutely nothing to do with my parenting skills or lack thereof. He is now becoming much more independent, so he doesn’t like when he is told what to do anymore. Oh, when he chooses to clean he is still an eager beaver, but as soon as I mention that I want him to do that same chore, his stubbornness knocks all sense out of him. He whines, complains, drags his feet, and finds every way possible to take longer or not do nearly as good of a job. Seeing how much effort he puts into not giving his best effort is simultaneously infuriating and saddening. I know I have my work cut out for me until this phase comes to an end.
Maybe someday my little helper will return—and if he does, I promise to never take him for granted again! Maybe he is gone forever. Either way, I must find a means to show my son again why hard work and wholehearted effort is important in life. Slackers and procrastinators get nowhere in this life, and I want the best for my son. I want to see him flourish and succeed, not doom himself to mediocrity and the bare minimum.
Has your child ever gone through a similar stage? Did your little helper ever return? Did you find a way to show your child that working hard and helping out is a crucial part of life? I’d love to hear about your experience!