Last week I mentioned to someone that I had let my 10 year old daughter bake some cakes and you would have thought from the reaction that I had let her go to a night club! “you mean she used the oven without you?” had to be my favourite comment. Turns out her cakes were just as good as mine. You should have seen their faces when I said I got her to make me a cup of coffee as well!
Rebecca is a very sensible girl and very mature for her age but the reaction got me thinking. Maybe I was wrong. As she has grown up, we have always brought her up to help in the house by doing age appropriate jobs to earn her pocket money. She can now, dust, clean make beds, cook a simple meal, vacuum, clean the bathroom, or put a load of washing on and she has no problem running or biking to the shops for something we have forgotten if she is asked. We don’t treat her as a servant but our parenting style is we all made the mess so we all clean it. I have never believed that children should be treated like pampered lords while their parents run themselves ragged after them.
When I was 10, I was in the brownies, and in those days, the badges included homemaker.
Part of the badge was to make a cup of tea, iron your own uniform, bake, and do various jobs around the house. Even now, brownies can work towards cooking and home skills badges, so maybe I am on the right track and not being an evil mother.
My ultimate goal as a parent is to prepare Rebecca for when she doesn’t live with us. This may seem horrible, and I hate the thought of her moving out, but I want her to be able to go to university or to her own home and not struggle with simple jobs or get into debt because she can’t manage money. When we go shopping I often ask her to compare two items to see which one offers the best value, or to work out if something is a “want” or a “need”. Any “wants” such as sweets or a small toy come out of her pocket money, but “needs” such as things for packed lunches or toiletries I buy.
I am always complimented on the fact that Rebecca is so confident and willing to help others and when that happens I start to believe I am on the right track after all.
In case you were wondering, these are the controversial cakes –