Why My One Year Old Has a Job


So I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up we learnt a thing called responsibility and respect. I think today’s world could use a little more of it. I think it’s important to teach children responsibility and to do things for themselves. That’s why I’m starting to teach Marshall to do practical things, like feeding the dog, putting his dishes away, cleaning up spills, and even throwing out his own diapers.

This is just my opinion, but I feel like a lot of children today are pretty entitled. We live in a society of convenience and it seems like more often than not, kids nowadays don’t have a lot of responsibility, or it’s just easier for some parents to do everything themselves. Kids nowadays have their own cell phones, tv, and laptops just handed to them. I remember having to work my but off to get a cellphone, and even when I got it, I had to come up with at least half of the bill every month. (Not today, everything’s just easier I guess.)

Well, when I was growing up, we learned a thing called respect and responsibility. We were told once what needed to be done, and if it wasn’t done, we weren’t allowed to do anything until it was. This may seem harsh, but that’s how we learnt to take ownership of things around the house, and learn we had to work for things, not just have them handed to us.

Now you may be thinking, Marshall’s only 20 months old, isn’t that a lot to but on a baby? Not at all, it’s not like I’m expecting him to wake up every morning and clean the house “OR ELSE”, but I think its very important that I instil him with responsibility, so he can learn to do things for himself. One day he will be a man, and move on, and I want him to know the meaning of hard work and how to actually do things for himself and others, not just expect the world to do things for him.

When I attended my high school for the blind, I really noticed that a lot of students couldn’t do anything for themselves, or really didn’t know how. Many of my fellow residents didn’t even know how to load a dishwasher or cook, to fold their laundry, or even make their beds. Now yes I get we are all “blind”, but, in my opinion, that’s no excuse. I don’t really care what your ability or “disability” is, you can always do something. Chores and responsibility should differ and do depend on what you can do, but in my house it is not an excuse not to do anything.

So, I started thinking back on my childhood, friends, and just things I’ve picked up on over the years. More often than not I remember having friends who did nothing. They weren’t even expected to. I remember a lot of parents just doing everything themselves, so it got done and I guess, so they didn’t have to argue. Well that’s definitely not how I was raised and how I’m not going to raise my son.

Every parent has their own way, and I’m not judging, but for me, my son will learn he needs to help out. I think starting at a young age is beneficial to learning and in the long run will only benefit him. I try to make things feel like a game, so Marshall’s always interested, and so far its working out great!

For example, our first little success story is with garbage. After I or my husband changes Marshall, we kindly give him his diaper and ask him to go throw it in the garbage. I’ve made it almost a game.”Ready Marshall! It’s time to throw out your diaper.” he gets very excited and basically runs to the gate, and then to the garbage. We are still working on pushing the button, but so far he has learnt to throw it out and close the lid. Mama super proud! Marshall has even started picking things up that I haven’t noticed on the floor and runs to the gate wanting to throw it in the garbage.


So this is going very well, I wonder what else we could try? How about tackling spills and clean ups? As you know, toddlers can be VERY VERY MESSY! I think Marshall is the king of mess when it comes to his food. When he was younger, it was almost impossible to keep food in his mouth or on his tray. Now it’s a bit of a different story. It’s still a work in progress, but Marshall has improved leaps and bounds, using his spoon and fork. He still gets frustrated now and then and ends up using his hands, thus the mess. So I started giving him a cloth or baby wipe.

“Marshall its time to clean up! Are you all done?”
Marshall: “All done!”
“Ok buddy time to clean up.”
Then as he wipes the food off his tray he mutters wipe wipe wipe. Then with pure enjoyment yells, “I DID IT!” I’ve even caught him a few times steeling the broom and attempting to sweep the floors. What a great little boy:)


Well, I definitely love how things are going, and I love teaching him how to do things for himself, and have him respond so well! I think this is a great learning tool for him and I hope he continues to grow up into the great little man I know he is!

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Category: Family, Home and Garden, Living

About the Author ()

A number of years ago I went blind, and as a result found out I had Multiple Sclerosis. After my diagnosis, I attended a new high school for the visually impaired. That is where I met the love of my life, my husband Dylan. Dylan helped me get through becoming blind and find joy in life again. Shortly after graduating, we moved to Ottawa together and in December of 2011, we were married. A year later we welcomed our beautiful son Marshall to the world. In 2015, after two miscarriages we welcomed our beautiful rainbow baby Charlotte into the world. It hasn't been easy adjusting to being blind and living with M.S on a daily basis , and being a mom of two on top of everything. Life has been... lets say challenging! But oh so worth it!

Comments (10)

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  1. KD says:

    My dd turns 2 soon and has had a few job for some months now…she puts her own clothes in the hamper, she helps me put her toys away at night, and she helps me fold and put away laundry. (She’s in charge of matching diapers with their inserts, pairing socks, and can now start to fold some simple pants and tshirts of hers.)

    I think it’s a great idea!

  2. Brenda A says:

    Well done, Mama! Your sweet boy is going to grow up to be an outstanding man.

  3. Lynda Cook says:

    love how your teaching your son to do stuff for himself, more mothers need to do this, so their children can learn responsibility

  4. Maryanne says:

    This is a great idea to give them a little resposibility.

  5. kathy downey says:

    You are truly amazing,living with MS myself I know how hard everyday is !

  6. Rene says:

    I love this, and am also a firm believer in it. My 18 month old wipes her own face and highchair tray, helps with the dishwasher, and puts away toys and books. Her 3 yr old sister folds wash cloths, puts away laundry, and other assorted tasks.

  7. beyondseeingwithcourtney says:

    that’s excellent!

  8. kathy downey says:

    Awesome mom you are and so very right.Our jobs as a parent is to teach children responsibility and to do things for themselves.

  9. Debbie White Beattie says:

    I love what you’ve written here and I totally agree that kids need to learn respect and responsibility and kids are way to entitled. I don’t understand why parents today don’t instill a good work ethnic because it certainly didn’t hurt me or my generation when we had chores and got jobs as teenagers. But for some stupid reason this new parenting started and now kids don’t do anything and they’ve got anxiety and live with their parents when they’re 30.
    The future of this world is in big trouble in my opinion !

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