Every parent wants to bring their children up to be the best that they can.  Kind, caring, respectful, hard working, fun loving, fair and more.

But I think being a mum (especially if you have a husband or partner who doesn’t help much with  house or childcare), there are differences in what you want to teach your son compared with what their dad would say.

things I want to train my son to do - Bubbablue and me

In our house, the OH would probably say that he wants to just teach him farming and rock music.  But boys (and girls) definitely need to be taught that their mothers, and therefore by proxy, other females, aren’t there to be at their beck and call.

At the moment, I’ve got a long way to go to teach him that.  He doesn’t seem to be motivated by rewards which makes it hard to give him encouragement to do something.  I might have to start pocket money when he’s 5, maybe the prospect of seeing money increasing in his pot might do the trick.  At school it doesn’t seem to be the same.  He just gets on with things, but at home I have to ask several times, or negotiate that I’ll do a bit if he does the rest.

tidying up

He is good at some things when I ask – crockery in or near the dishwasher if they need clearing, and he’ll help out with cleaning.  But tidying up.  Nightmare.  Not helped by the fact that his dad, doesn’t generally help clear things up.  But I’m determined that there are some things he’ll have to learn to do before he leaves primary school.

Tasks to train my son to do

1. Complete toilet training every time

That is, put the seat and lid down.

Flush every time.  Always wipe his own bottom.  Clean up in the toilet after himself.

Thankfully, N mostly sits down to pee, which means there’s only the  lid to put down.  Sometimes he does it himself, sometimes he doesn’t so I have to remind him a lot.

Bottom wiping happens in school but still leaves something to be desired at home when I’m around.  We need to be able to put the toilet tissue where he can reach it rather than me having to  .  As for flushing, reminders needed when it’s just a pee.  I will conquer and get these all ticked off (hopefully in the next year – or maybe not the cleaning aspect with bleach).

2. Clean the bath/shower and sink after use

It drives me nuts that the OH never seems to rinse round the bath (or sink) after using it.  Given there’s often a lot of grime after he’s had a shower (that farm debris gets everywhere).

He knows to give the sink a swill off and will try and help me do that.  And he doesn’t mind getting out the glass shower door wiper.  Once he’s bigger I’ll start getting him to spritz round the bath too.

3. Remove items from trouser pockets before washing

I always forget to check pockets when I do the washing.  I’ve had a lot of stuff falling out of the OHs…tissues (not sure why those in my pockets just shrink to a solid ball while the OH’s shred to pieces), coins, penknife, latex gloves, nails. The list goes on.  I’m astounded that none have so far damaged the washing machine.

So that’s my objective for N, so he takes ownership of his own clothes going in the washing machine.

4. Taking clothes off the right way

A bit of a fussy one, but it would be nice if everyone put their clothes out to wash out the right way.  So I don’t have to turn them back the right way before folding them.  It would save a lot of time at the end of the laundry cycle.

5. Put crockery and glasses in the dishwasher

The OH is terrible at this.  He had a dishwasher long before I moved in so I don’t understand why he can’t put glasses in the dishwasher instead of on the side about 30cm away.  I wouldn’t mind if he reused the glass, but no.  A collection appears until I get sick of it (about 4) and put them in the dishwasher.

N is better admittedly. Sometimes he’ll do it himself, other times I have to remind him.  Next step is getting him to load the dishwasher the correct way so everything fits in.

6. Help with bins and recycling

N will help me take the recycling and bins down the drive to the farm gate and the wheely bins.  What still needs practice is taking his rubbish to the bin in the utility room rather than leaving tissues on the side, or yoghurt pots on the table.

7. Share the load in the house

Because it’s not just down to one person, especially not if everyone has an agreed role, and if both adults work.  And for him to understand that looking after the house is not women’s work.

practising sorting washing and vacuuming

8. Ask how the day went

As the OH is never very communicative about how his day was (‘working’) and never asks me, I’m trying to train N that it’s normal to ask how someone’s day was.  It’s a great way to have a bit of chatter, and makes people feel appreciated and listened to.

At the moment, N usually says ‘can’t remember’ until bedtime, but he definitely understands that it’s normal to ask.  He’s even asked me on occasion.

9. Keep kissing and hugging the people you love

N is very generous with his kisses and hugs, so I want him to know that it’s good to continue.

hugging his jellycat dog

10. Respect for everyone

Essentially, just because someone’s different doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be respected.  If you don’t agree, then just look for something you can respect them for.  But don’t state facts or belittle people when it’s not true.

Hopefully if I can train my son to grow up and happily be a proper party in the house and family, then he’ll grow up as a good catch for a future partner, and be someone that people want to spend time with.

What would you like to teach your children?

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14 Comments

  1. My sons are both now in their twenties, and my how things have changed! My aim was to teach them to cook meals, shop wisely, do their washing properly and learn to iron.
    They were also taught how to clean the house properly.
    Reality is this: they were taught, they learned, they do the bare minimum. Eldest I believe does his share around his home, I expect his partner will tell me otherwise. Youngest is in a shared house, and he moans like stink about the state of the kitchen. He cleans it thoroughly once a week so he can batch cook and fill the freezer. When he is home, he helps out and his room is left fairly clean and tidy, as is his ensuite. So I have no complaints.
    I wish you luck, but suspect you may be fighting an uphill battle!

    • You’re probably right, but here’s hoping. To be honest, my brother’s probably better at the home thing than I am. I do it when needed (although washing up is always done, clean shower/toilet after use and general tidying to clear the floor) but otherwise leave it til needed.

  2. What a great list huni, I must admit to never having thought about turning things the right way to save time in the laundry cycle! Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  3. Such lovely things to teach! I’m so so with you on taking things out of pockets – my OH is an absolute terror for this, then has the cheek to complain when his super important bit of paper has been decimated in the wash… 🙂 #thelist

  4. What a lot of tasks to do! I agree that boys should be taught the same as girls. I’m very lucky Grandad does everything that I do, except wash kitchen floors and the washing. He cooks, he vacuums, he polishes. Everything.
    Bear is 15 months and he helps with everything too. He helps me do the washing (clothes in, clothes out, no put them back in, clothes in, clothes out!), he helps us both cook, he helps Grandad with the garden and sweeps and cleans up mess if he’s spilt anything. I know this is short lived and he will rebel against them but hopefully he will learn that we all share tasks. #thelist

    • Your Grandad’s impressive. And it’s great to start children off early, then it becomes normal for them

  5. This is very optimistic of you! I wish you to succeed in teaching him to do all these things! It is nice that you start teaching him cleaning and organizing habits from that young. My boys are twins and usually get involved in some crazy ideas when I try to teach them such stuff!

    • Thanks Barbara. Must be double trouble with 2 of them. N’s ok if he does things on his terms. It’s when I ask that he moans.

  6. I love all of these, I just realised that I always put Zs clothes in the wash basket and I need to teach him to do it. I think a big one is him helping to clean up a bit. He always always offers and I’m always in a big rush so do it myself. I think these days bother girls and boys need to do exactly the same stuff and need to know it well.

    • N (and his dad) always leave his clothes where they fall, drives me nuts. And pjs get left downstairs (he eats breakfast downstairs then gets dressed after), so that’s a hard one to get N to do. But really need to start doing it.

  7. I also think it is important to teach our children how to look after the house and to work the machines that help us. I include in these the vacuum, the dishwasher, washing machine and drier…all 3 of mine are expected to make their own beds in the morning and clear the table after meals. I have just started getting them to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Included in my list is the ability to cook. My eldest is nearly 10 and we’ve started doing monthly cooking. Although all 3 occasionally help with meals, I am actively teaching my 10 year old a meal/dessert/baked goods each month. My younger 2 do their own breakfast and sandwiches so that helps. It really is about making them think about their responsibility in the home. It is a fabulous skill and far to easily neglected as it is (in all honesty) easier to do it yourself. I live in hope that I raise my boys to view all household tasks as genderless jobs and that my girl knows that she should expect her man to treat her equally in the home.

    • Sounds totally realistic. Thankfully N quite likes helping round the house, and he can do his own lunch if needed. but there’ll definitely be chores later on. Maybe even the OH will get back to lending a hand then.

  8. These are great things to teach your son! oh wow yea, my husband does that too – puts the dishes right on the counter next to the dishwasher, but not IN the dishwasher. Drives me nuts.

    • So annoying isn’t it. I’ve started leaving the water glasses out til he puts them away…but having 3 or 4 sitting there drives me nuts. He did get rid of some of the rubbish the other day though

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