This week has gone very fast and I haven’t really thought about a subject for my blog post. I’ve been answering questions on the Nigel Latta Facebook page though, and it got me thinking about how much we expect from our children.
I know I often expect too much from Mapera as she is my eldest, and very capable and intelligent. I also tend to forget that Kaitereo is only 3 and expect too much from her as well. Our baby is constantly surprising me by doing things I don’t expect him to do, so maybe I will expect less from him and he’ll keep surprising me.
It’s a hard balancing act to figure out what you should be doing for your children vs what they should be doing for themselves. How much is reasonable to expect a 5 year old to remember and manage for herself if I can only just about remember my jobs if I have them all written down on the fridge?
So far both my girls can wash and dress themselves (Mapera can get herself showered), they can set the table, and they can butter their own bread and cut it. They can put their clean clothes away and make their beds; they can tidy up their toys and art things and help with vacuuming.
They can harvest vegetables and collect eggs; they can pick mushrooms (under supervision) and spot thistles for Daddy to grub up. They can pick the ripe tomatoes from their tomato patch and share them with their brother (who just tends to lob them onto the lawn). They can brush their own teeth and hair and they are both just about able to put their own hair up into a sort-of ponytail.
They can hammer in a nail and saw a piece of wood with Daddy in his shed. They can build stuff from scrap wood and plant a pumpkin seed in their sandpit that actually grows.
I have encouraged all this behaviour as well as suggesting more for them. The only thing they don’t use yet is sharp kitchen knives or anything that involves fire or the stove. I’m figuring that this will come around about the age they could join Cubs or Scouts (somewhere between 7 and 11).
What age can I get them to make me a cuppa and put the dinner on?