Alison Curtis: Tea, chats and chores with my daughter

About a week ago out of the blue my 9-year-old asked for a cup of tea after dinner. She has only ever had a sip or two of tea beforehand so it seemed an unusual request.
Alison Curtis: Tea, chats and chores with my daughter
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About a week ago out of the blue my 9-year-old asked for a cup of tea after dinner. She has only ever had a sip or two of tea beforehand so it seemed an unusual request.

I asked her why did she want one and she said she just did. So we made her a chai tea with lots of milk and a drop of honey and this has become her new thing!

Each evening its a cup of tea after dinner. And while it doesn’t seem like a big deal it does make her seem so much older to me. Just even looking at her taking casual sips from a big mug makes her look like a mini adult. Plus it creates this new post-dinner ritual whereby we have “the chats” and enjoy our evening bevies.

Then the following day she just announced she was going to do the dishes after dinner and spent ages getting them spotless.

Again looking at her at the sink with rubber gloves and suds everywhere just made her seem older. Like a flash into the future, she looked more like a teen than my 9-year-old. Her confidence grew with a few nights of being the nominated dishwasher that a few days later she took it upon herself to vacuum the whole house.

Then a day later she actually made the bathroom sparkle. Honestly, I was seriously impressed.

She has helped with chores for a number of years now but what was different is that all of this initiative came from her alone.

Yes I was delighted to have the help around the house and even more so that I didn’t have to nag to get it. But I was wondering where the get up and go was coming from. Although I am not yet sure of the answer to this I do know that supporting her and cheering her on in her now daily chores has been good for both of us. I can see she has pride in her work and it has taught me to let go too.

Where once I was hovering over her to make sure nothing broke or that things actually got cleaned now I just let her at it and am always impressed with the results.

It is important for Joan to have a role in keeping our house clean and tidy and for her to take responsibility for her own belongings. To really know the value of caring for things and the house and this all seems to be coming through this summer with this new found love of domestic life.

It extends to the garden as well. The other day after my husband bought her gloves she again without prompting took it upon herself to weed the front yard. She was so excited for him to come home and see what she had done.

It was this excitement that reminded me of being a child myself and how I couldn’t wait to help out or see my parents' reaction to a job done well.

I love that she and I are now coming together more now on the workload and I love it even more now that when the chores are done we can sit down and enjoy a nice cuppa together, maybe a biscuit and a really lovely chat.

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