I was just thinking today, that my 11 year old daughter is an extreme example of someone who gives service on a daily basis. I have spoken before about getting up early in the morning with my children, and that I really have very little to do. One of the reasons for this is that many of my kids are on autopilot now. They can get themselves dressed, brush their own teeth, feed themselves, ect.
What dad is useful for is pouring a full, newly opened gallon of milk, shaking kids awake in the morning in an unusually perky voice, and breaking up bickering from tired and groggy kids. But, for the most part, my kids run the show in the morning in terms of getting themselves out the door.
One of the reasons that process is successful each morning is because not only do the kids accomplish getting ready, but they leave the house as they found it when they leave. The kitchen is clean, the table and floor have no crumbs, the milk is put away, pajamas are in the laundry room.
I assure you that none of these things are accomplished due to dear old Dad. Instead, I have a 11 year old that has been 47 years old since she was 6. She is, has, and always will be a natural born caretaker. I don’t mean in the sense of she is nurturing and affectionate at all times (she can be some times). What I mean, is that she GETS THINGS DONE!! And, most importantly, she makes sure everyone else GETS THINGS DONE!!! And, if everyone else refuses to move to get stuff done, she GETS THEIR STUFF DONE!!!
I should also mention, she is the official time keeper of the family. She is always extremely diligent in letting us know when we have 14 minutes left until time to go, then 13, then 12. Yes, I am exaggerating, but you get the picture. I suspect she does some of this because she likes order, and chaos makes her completely uncomfortable. However, I’m am guessing a healthy portion of why she does what she does is to please her parents. She genuinely wants to be helpful to us. What an example that is to me. Here I have a 11 year old that every morning without fail or complaint cleans the entire kitchen before she leaves for school. Wow.
Unsolicited Parenting advice: Notice your child’s contributions to the family and point them out to her often. Be sure to shout it from the rooftops at social gatherings as well. Do it in a way that is not embarrassing to her, but loud enough so she knows you know.