Will hates doing dishes. His dish week always seeds more anxiety and difficulty. The easy answer is to excuse him from the responsibility. This morning, I almost did. A moment of exhaustion from me. We're allowed to feel that! I took a breath and realized I would do a disservice to Will and his siblings if I recused him from his job while expecting them to continue the same distasteful work during their dish weeks. Every third week, Will is tasked with helping prepare dinner, cleaning up leftovers (if there are any) after dinner, and emptying or loading the dishwasher. Each member of the house is responsible for rinsing their own dishes and putting them into the dirty dishwasher. But if the washer is clean or full, they are instead placed in the sink for the dish person to address. Rory and Mack complain, but get the job addressed easily and quickly. Will belabors it every time. We have had this rotation for more than a year. It isn't new. It isn't unexpected. He moans every time. He struggles more with other parts of life every time. I don't know why dishes are so challenging for him, but they are. However, they are a part of life. He still needs to do his part to help the family. It wouldn't be fair if I took this burden from him and not from his siblings. I would be hurting his future by not requiring the distasteful tasks now. We must all address activities in life that we don't prefer. To remove them from our children's lives when they are young, but expect them to tackle them when they are adults is to teach them dependence and confusion. Several years ago, our first exchange student thanked us for teaching her to cook, clean, do dishes, and laundry. She turned 18 shortly after leaving us, but we sent her into her future with life skills she needed. We intend to do the same for our natural children and other students we welcome to our homes. Every student has left us with life skills they wouldn't have had otherwise. Parents, please require chores of your children. Even when they complain about it and don't do it right all the time. Even when they experience heightened anxiety. Please help them develop the skills now when you are there to catch and teach. Their anxiety will be far worse as adults who don't know how to conquer these mundane tasks.
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