Saturday, November 26, 2011

Teach a Kid to Fish

So this Thanksgiving with J's family, I got up to do dishes and I commented that when we (my siblings) were growing up, at my Grandmother's house, my Mom made all the kids do the dishes.  So there would be about 10 kids of various sizes, some on stools, others standing, doing all the dishes after a big feast.  Someone replied, I can't imagine making kids work, they should be being kids.  Hmmm.  Now I really do see both sides to this argument.  Yes, kids should enjoy spending time with cousins, running outside, playing football, creating imaginary games, etc.  But, its like the expression, "catch a fish for a child, feed him for a day, teach a child to fish, feed him for a lifetime."  I think it builds character to have to put in some sweat equity into things.  I congratulate my mom for having the cohonas to wrangle all us cousins and put us to work...even if it was a little dish washing sweat shop--J/K. 

However you might look at it personally, it did create a memory, I will always remember doing dishes, then getting to go play  :-)

Oh well, today all my family is coming over for our Thanksgiving....are my nieces and nephews tall enough to reach the sink yet?  LOL


  1. I well remember the dishwashing story. I caught heck for that but stuck with it. I think doing chores teaches kids a sense of being a part of a team--everyone has a part and every part is required to get the job done. It also teaches kids responsibility. Play seems much sweeter when the work is done. I remember hearing all the kids laughing and talking while doing the dishes. It never took that long because many hands made light work. I also remember the adults turning on me and not bringing their kids to the next family dinner. You, Andrew and Marianna cried through the meal thinking you were going to have to wash mountains of dishes by yourself. I was taunted with the question of whether or not I was going to make you guys do all the dishes and my reply (and I don't think I said it very nicely was) that I wasn't going to punish my kids because they didn't have the guts to make their kids do a little work. I did all the dishes myself. The relief on your three faces was worth it!

    As for the current niece/nephew generation. I think it will be a few years before they are old enough. Either that or we better use plastic dishes only and be prepared to mop the floor. In a few years, they will be able to pitch in. What they could do now is set the table with silverware and napkins. Never too young to get started!

  2. First, I have to give props to Kim great job! I am proud that you stuck with something that you believed was good structure for your children even though when others boycotted your dinners. You have raised well balanced children that are willing to harvest what they eat and I mean that literally as well as figuratively.

    CLP, I love that you naturally got up to do dishes. It speaks volumes of your personality and character and this is one of the many reasons why I love you. Daily we find that what we were taught as we were younger is ingrained into our everyday life. Some of the things we learned are good and sometimes they are bad.

    Growing up I remember the first time I grabbed a wash cloth and helped my mom dust. I was so excited to do an activity I seen my mother perform daily. I was never asked to clean nor do dishes. I did it automatically because my mom was a stay at home mom and I always saw her do it. She led by example and did not have to ask me to perform chores or other things.

    I think kids need responsibility and structure. I also think they need to have a base line for memories. When you were younger and had to do the dishes with all your cousins you created memories that will last lifetimes that you appreciate more now than ever. A kid should be allowed to play and horse around but I think the big difference between our generation (CLP and mine) and teens how days are the parents let the kids play too much. The parents don’t want to deal with the kids so they don’t teach them structure, discipline and give them the opportunity to create life long memories with cousins in a kitchen on stools.

    Great article CLP!