Let me tell you a little story.
Several years ago as a mom with three little boys and a new baby, I spent many days, hours and time sitting on my sofa and folding baskets of laundry.
One day, I had about 6 full baskets of laundry that needed to be folded, so I popped in a movie and started my folding ritual. It took a few hours of folding until every single item was folded and stacked nicely in the laundry baskets ready to be tucked away into dresser drawers.
It was time to make dinner, so I left the baskets at the top of the stairs to be put away after dinner time. As I was cooking, I heard lots of jumping and giggling coming from upstairs. I walked over, looked up and to my horror….and yes, I’m sure you have already guessed it, my three little boys were found throwing piles of newly folded clothing up in the air and jumping up and down on the clean laundry in the baskets.
All the hours I spent sitting on the sofa, meticulously folding laundry was now ruined… and I completely lost it! I put each of my three boys in their room, shut the door and started to cry.
A few minutes later, my husband walked in the door to see me bawling as I sat upon the piles of clean laundry strewn all over the stairs. With a quick glance around, he could guess what had happened.
“I’m done!” I shouted to him. “I done with the laundry, the folding, the putting away….I’m just done!”
My more calm and collected husband softly responded while giving me a hug, “Honey, I will teach the boys how to do their own laundry. Don’t you worry.”
Even in that moment, I remember thinking that maybe my husband had lost his mind too. I mean, our oldest was only 7 years old! How can they possibly learn how to do their own laundry?!”
Believe it or not, that evening became a turning point for our little family.
Our lives changed that day!
I have not done laundry for my three boys since that fateful day and they have consistently been doing their own laundry for over four years.
Have they needed reminders? Yes. Have they had moments of complaint? Absolutely. Have they had to wear a dirty shirt or pants to school for forgetting to do their laundry? You betcha!
But, they have done it, and I have had freedom from the never-ending laundry piles for years.
The responsibility my three boys have gained, the life skills achieved, and the lessons learned have been immense.
And it all was because a wise father knew his children were totally capable to do it.
And your kids are capable too!
This week, I’d recommend sitting with your kids and doing the following:
1) Write down 3 new organization habits you know your kids (yes, and even grand-kids) are capable of learning
2) Discuss these 3 new habits with them and pick one to start working on
3) Create a chart to track consistency and reward for great progress
4) Practice this new habit for at least 3-4 weeks before working on a new habit on the list
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children, whether they’re four years old or forty, is to teach them personal responsibility and good, consistent habits.
It really is the simple things that make the greatest impact.
Ready to teach your kids how to master their own laundry? Watch as a family our “Kids Laundry 101” Tutorial Video Wednesday June 17 on our Facebook and Instagram pages! We’ll teach the laundry system our kids have been doing for years and why it works so well.