Note to Future and Current Parents: You aren’t doing your kids any favors by cooking them dinner, doing their laundry, and cleaning their bedrooms. Do you know what you are doing by taking care of them? You are making them burdens on society. You are making them dependent on you (and society) for the rest of their lives. You’ll make them want to live with you forever if you provide them a nice room, food in their bellies, gas in their fuel tank, and a Smartphone in their hand. Stop being a good parent.
I didn’t realize that parents took care of their kids so much these days until I was on another Boy Scout camp out this past weekend. As I’m supervising the youngest scouts (in the age group of 11-12 years old), it dawned on me that they don’t know how to cook a meal or clean up after themselves. They keep thinking that “somebody else” is going to do it for them. That somebody is their mommy or daddy. It definitely isn’t me (the grumpy old Assistant Scoutmaster).
Sure, in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the scouts are supposed to learn from other older scouts (or adults) how to survive on a campout. However, like any preteen or teenager (whether it is a boy or girl) they get distracted by…anything. An older scout might have taught them what to do six minutes ago or six months ago and they don’t remember that information now when they really need it. They don’t remember that you cook your meat on medium heat, not high heat. They don’t remember that cooking takes time and you have to pay attention to the meal on the stove lest it be burned to a pile of charcoal. They don’t remember that in summer camp someone showed them that to clean a pot you need to use soap, water, and some good old fashion elbow grease. They don’t know that hot water is their friend in the cleaning process.
What can you as parents can you do to help your child? Stop doing everything for them.
But wait, you say…that’s my baby we are talking about! Should I just throw a tent in the backyard and let my ten year old live with the dog? Of course not, start with baby steps. One simple thing they can learn this afternoon is “How to use the laundry washer and the dryer.”
Side Note: I mentioned this to my ten year old daughter and she laughed at me. Ha. Ha. The joke is going to be on her when she doesn’t have any clean clothes and she is know as “The Stinky Kid” at school. Boy, I can’t wait for that call from her teacher talking about my daughter’s aroma and personal hygiene issues. That phone call will prove I’m a great parent.
Then show them how to properly clean the dishes in the sink. Show them how to wash out that pot so all of the old oatmeal is gone. Use the cleaning pad to get it clean. If you are a camping family, you can even pretend you are on a camping trip. Make some stations in your kitchen with three tubs:
- Wash Pot/Tub: Hot Water with a few drops of biodegradable soap.
- Rinse Tub: Hot/Warm Water (plain water)
- Sterilization Tub: Boiling Hot Water (use tongs) or cold water with one teaspoon of bleach added to two gallons of water.
I recommend to the Scouts that they soak/pre-wash as much as possible. Example, if they have a dish that has a huge sauce build up, after they are done using that pot, fill it up with water and let that pot sit. Scrub as much as that build up off as possible and dispose of in your food garbage pit or into the garbage.
Wouldn’t it be great if you taught this to your kid at home now instead of him having to learn it from some older scout? Give your son or a leg up in society and teach them something as simple as cleaning a dish will be an invaluable skill for him later in life. He won’t be the little dweeb that doesn’t know how to do anything at Scout Camp because his mommy loved him too much. Don’t be that good parent be that awesome parent that teaches their kid something useful in life.
That’s all for today! As always, your comments (hopefully sarcastic) are always welcome.