Submitted by Paul Helbling
After I was divorced, I had custody of our four children. The youngest was eight years old at the time. It worked. Not necessarily perfectly, but that just meant that there were a lot of learning experiences along the way. As an educator, I think that was a good thing.
One way we made it work was to require each person to take responsibility for their own laundry. As I said, it worked. There were some issues, but I didn't get involved with any of them. When there was yelling, I ignored it. When I needed to do my own laundry and found a load of clothes that had been left in the washer, dryer, or both, I just moved them into a basket.
Years later, when I remarried, I shared this strategy with my new wife who was still raising her youngest (12 years old at the time). She was surprised by the idea, but gave it a try. It worked for her too. Even when she found clean clothes that had been in the washer for two days.
Ann Landers probably said it best, "It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings."
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