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Letter to My Children : Home Chores

Dear children

Do you remember getting down on all fours to clean your own bedroom?

I think it started with the older one of you – you set such a fervent and dedicated example your younger sibling quickly followed suit:)

Fifteen  years have flown by since then ..

I just feel I had learnt by trial and error to educate you on household chores – that it was everyone’s duty to keep things away  back in its ‘home’.

However, gone are the days of eagerness,  to please your parents with no holding back …

It was particularly trying in the early years of adolescence… I withheld weekly allowance if chores were not done – at that time, online , there was a fierce war of opinions amongst netizens if doing chores is a ‘duty’ and one should not get paid for it..hmm..what do you think about that? Would you give your (future) children ‘an allowance’ for doing chores?

Then I should have consulted you on what you thought – was I too busy to ask or did I  assume I ‘knew all’ and I would take charge and decide or was it because I did not have enough faith in you , that you would have given me any  constructive suggestions – but , on hindsight ,  I should still have asked.  I  think ,  such life skills were pushed to the back of the cupboard because they were deemed less urgent than keeping up with schoolwork and studying for exams (reminder to parents-to-be: life skills or character-building skills are deemed as important as ‘professional skills’ –  no matter whose perspective, the development of a person is better with it than without)

I persevered then..it was so hard to get you to do chores..star charts (tick), payment for it (tick), family rules (tick), but you were slowly learning to clean up our home and it is my hope that this habit will soon voluntarily extend to doing an automatic clean up when it is deemed too dangerous for me to climb to reach higher areas in our home.

After all this time, I notice your styles to clean up your space or to organise them vary too.

One of you is a packrat but will buckle down to tidy weekly with reminders..the other one of you manages everything in ticktock fashion – I still cannot fathom out  how both whom I have raised in a similar way can turn out so differently in terms of organising and  rearranging your stuff…

One of you may have a hoarding habit and is loath to throw out anything sentimental (which probably includes quite a bit of stuff ( but has recently improved by giving about a month’s preparation to ‘grieve’ before parting with the possession).

The other just sells everything that one does not need ..

But there is a thread of commonness..

I realise you both track your outgoing expenses – so that you are aware if you are frittering money away on things you fancy but don’t need and cut back on buying ‘extra’ stuff (you eventually throw or give away anyway).

It is a very good way of ‘editing’possessions and I applaud that!

In terms of cleaning away the dust, I think there is still much room for improvement – I think I have mentioned it before, a clean home is the most frugal home improvement idea worth spending time and energy in doing!

But I see the change and the self motivation to exercise those cleaning skills. One could always employ a helper in the future – I had suggested this to you before , albeit the suggestion being brushed aside ..perhaps because we never had a helper in our home since the younger of you were born and one is not used to the idea. Do not completely dismiss it though..unique circumstances might crop up and having an extra pair of hands will help you keep a more peaceful state of mind..your health is important…note the need to plan ahead and set aside money for such discretionary expenses when you begin full-time employment.

But I know you will manage..

Everything looks positive now.

Doing chores is a good habit to want to upkeep if one wants to live in a clean space..and I applaud the efforts..you will only get better as you clean more …keep up the good work!

Your loving mum

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