He’s Only Four Years Old and Washing!

[vc_row type=”vc_default” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”5″][vc_column][vc_column_text]This is Elisha. He is my 4-year old grandson.  On most mornings of the week during my recent visit to Tanzania, he and his brother Shamaa came to my home for breakfast before walking to school. I haven’t spent much time with them over the years, so this was a treat.  At Babu’s house (grandpa’s house – that would be me) they enjoyed a tray of options for their bread including Blue Band (a margarine type substance), peanut butter, jam, and local honey. For hot drinks they could have tea, coffee, milk, hot chocolate, or any combination of these they like.  As might be expected hot chocolate was their preferred choice. More often than not, they liked to “drink” it with a spoon, as one would eat soup. I had no problem with this, but the result was usually hot chocolate not only in their stomachs, but also on the placemats, napkins, and their school uniforms. From the beginning of our meals together, I had the boys help me with setting and clearing the table. This they did enthusiastically – sometimes even combatively as to who would get to carry what.  After breakfast we cleared the table. This included separating the clean placemats and napkins from those soiled with hot chocolate or other breakfast options. The boys put the clean table linens into the designated napkin-and-placemat basket under the side table, and they took the dirty ones back to the wash area of the house.

Well, you cannot imagine how impressed and delighted I was to find Elisha, at four years of age, washing his hot chocolate-soiled napkin and placemat on his own initiative!  I thought to myself, “Wow, what did his parents do right so that this boy of four understood that he could play a part in getting something done that needed to be done in the home!”  It reminded me of many occasions in the USA when kids (me included) had to be nagged and pushed to participate in cleaning up. It also reminded me how integrated Tanzanian children are in running the home. From and early age they are incorporated into the activities of home care. I have vowed to look into this further. I think many parents (and grandparents) in the USA could benefit from such parenting wisdom.  Maybe I’ll write a book (or a blog) about it.

That morning, I was proud to be the grandparent of Tanzanian children.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”vc_default” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”5″][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][interactive_banner][/vc_column][/vc_row]