Even when grandparents visit, pulling the door closed on a child’s room and protecting their privacy is the child’s right. Your child and their friends will happily disappear into that room—they don’t care about the mess. They don’t see it; they only see the cool stuff and the wonderful possibilities.
How do real-life parents gracefully navigate housework and chores in a home that seems endlessly messy or disorganised?
How a clean freak mother strongly upheld her son’s right to remain messy, and how being taken seriously in that respect has informed this writer’s approach with his own child.
Parents often believe that their financial support and other services for their children morally obliges the children to provide certain services in return. But there is no justification for that belief. It is just a rationalisation of the traditional status quo between parent and child. The truth is that there is a moral asymmetry between parent and child: in the event of an intractable dispute between them, the parent chose to place the child in the situation that caused the dispute; the child did not choose to place the parent there.
Imagine if your husband denied you dinner because you had not yet completed the chores he had decided you must do before dinner…
Parents are always saying, “It would just be easier to do it myself.” But then they don’t “do it themselves”. They don’t do it themselves because they feel an obligation to instil a moral lesson in their kids, namely, that they should keep things up to a certain standard (usually the parents’ unnegotiated standard).