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English: Child at work in Sandakphu, doing som...

English: Child at work in Sandakphu, doing some houshold chores. Français : Enfant au travail à Sandakphu, effectuant des tâches ménagères. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When does a child become an adult? Depending on what country, culture, religion, or other demographic information reviewed, it could range anywhere from 12 to 24. After all, there are certain landmarks one looks to when determining ‘adulthood.’

Wikipedia suggests that there are two types of adulthood: biological and legal, with coming-of-age rituals interlaced on the way to adult-hood. The bar or bat mitzvah, for example, celebrates a child’s twelfth or thirteenth year as knowing the difference between right and wrong and of being held responsible for his actions. http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm

When do you think your child should know how to behave like an adult? What does ‘behaving like an adult’ mean to you? How is your child supposed to learn how to live on his/her own? How did you? What are you goal for teaching him/her?

The link below discusses a basic guideline for teaching tykes various chores around the house so that they become capable adults. I was impressed with the number of positive responses, thinking that so many parents have given in to the notion that we should not train up our children to do anything but ‘be children’ – or in other words, play and when they are bored, whine.

Responsibility? Out the window! We had too much growing up, didn’t we? At least, that’s what I heard my generation (X) saying. But I am an older mom and perhaps it is beginning to swing back around. The pendulum usually does.

I find that some of these chores, my tot is already doing, and some of them he actually could be doing. Before he was walking he understood complete sentences and when I instructed him to go into his room and get his binky if he wanted it, he turned around and did it. That is, until Grandma that I was being too mean and went and helped him!

They are little sponges right now. They want to learn. They soak it up. They want to help. My little darling is 2 1/2 and loves to put away his clean clothes, put his dirty ones in his own little ‘hamper,’ help sort lights and darks before washing, putting the clothes into the washer/dryer with me, loading/unloading the dishwasher…

…he is so much happier being involved with the housework than he is when I tell him to go play while I clean. And honestly, I end up finishing in the same amount of time and less frustration because I haven’t been arguing with him about leaving him alone or having to put him in time-outs every 5 minutes for ‘getting in the way’ (i.e.; disobeying).