31/08/2016 09:47 BST | Updated 28/08/2017 06:12 BST

Is This Worth Fighting Over?

Back home in the UK, I am less rigid about washing up. Because unlike in Asia, there are no cockroaches, ants, rats and other scavengers waiting for your unwashed plates. Also, because of the higher temperature in Asia, any bits of unwashed food stink to high heaven if left in the sink overnight. Our family also uses the dishwasher less in Asia because there are only three of us at home here. Dishwashing tablets are expensive in Asia.

So, after the long summer child begins leaving dirty things unwashed in the sink. It is often just a glass, the blender, a side plate. It takes me just a few seconds to wash a plate or a cup up. It would be very easy to do when I am washing my own stuff up.

But I yelled at her to come and wash her own stuff up. "I will! In a minute," she answered back. "I'm doing my homework now."

Come now and wash up your stuff in the sink, please. No compromise. Reason for my tough stance: it is a habit that I don't want her to fall into. This is laziness. It is lack of discipline. Because the one minute or so that it takes her to wash these up builds a way of being in her which teaches her not to expect someone to clean up after her.

And it is not just down to unwashed plates and cups in the sink. It is down to life. I have known a few people who expect others to clean up after them in life. They make a mess, walk away from their mess, leaving carnage behind insouciantly because they assume that it is the duty of others to clean up after them.

Apologies for being a Tiger Mum where this is concerned, but so long as there is breath in my body, none of my children will ever have that entitlement mentality because it is an awful way to be. It is never good to use and abuse others rather than automatically elect to do our bit for the world.

In the meantime, I came across this cute photograph on the Internet. My sentiments, exactly!


First published in