This week I got to find out exactly how well I've been raising the kids to do things for themselves. Yes, I devised a little test for them, called breaking my hand, to force them to show me their self-sufficiency skills. Seriously, I did break my hand (just a little break in one finger bone) in karate class this week, so I'm all splinted up for a few weeks. By the next morning, they were blessing me with their abilities to not only fend for themselves, but take care of me as well. From Asa cooking me eggs for breakfast and taking care of the chickens to Mackenzie walking both dogs and helping me tie my shoes, the roles were definitely a reverse from a few years ago when I did all of these things for them.
It's just one more reminder that when we give our kids the ability to learn these skills like cooking (even with a hot skillet) in a safe environment, that by the time they're a decade old they can take on almost any task in the house. I know that a few generations ago, these things would be taken for granted. There was so much work to be done (gardening, tending the cows, churning the butter, gathering the eggs, hand-washing the laundry) that everyone had to pitch in. But these days our kids are often so busy with activities that sometimes it's just easier to do the household work ourselves instead of taking the (sometimes much messier and more lengthy) route of helping them learn to do it. The first time a kid folds laundry or cooks an egg, it's likely to involve so much more time and energy from you to help them than it would be to just do it yourself, but in the long run we do them (and ourselves) a big favor by having the time and the patience to help them learn these skills.