Cleanliness, excellence and discipline

Saturday January 09 2021

Min Atek

By Min Atek

“What is your plan for tomorrow?” I asked the first child. “l will wake up at 6.30am, clean my part of the house, shower and go for football practice,” he replied. “Are you sure it will be 6.30am?”

 I asked because this particular child is notorious for waking up late. “I will not pay for the football session if you do not wake up as you have promised. Is that perfectly understood?” “Yes, Mommy!” He replied emphatically. I smiled quietly because I had little faith in him to keep such a promise.

By 6.45am, he was up doing his housework. The power of football?! If there is anything that is deeply emphasised in our home, it is taking personal responsibility and doing chores.

The children are tasked to sweep and mop the house regularly. Beds are supposed to be laid beautifully and clothes must be organised in their wardrobes. 

After using the bathroom, everyone at home knows they must clean the bathroom. On several incidences, I have sent my children back to the bathroom to clean thoroughly well after doing a shoddy job.

Because their mother takes hours cleaning the kitchen, it should be left clean at all times without any leftover food on plates dumped in the sink. This mother is a stickler for cleanliness and thoroughness. But, why all the fuss?


I am the type that would rather stay up late cleaning than waking up to a messy place. For me, clean and organised spaces are therapeutic.

Secondly, it is essential for children to be trained to be organised and clean at a very young age. They should learn to do the work themselves. They should comfortably prepare meals, clean, wash and other chores and take full responsibility for their home.

Why? Because that’s part of what will make them stand out and thrive in a world that has many frowning at hardwork, excellence and discipline.

In a world littered with significant doses of mediocrity, those who chose the path of excellence will always stand out.

These seemingly simple life skills push folks ahead of their peers to progress quickly into spaces and spheres for the few and exceptional. Who wants to work with a lazy person? Who wants to partner with the one who drains energy out of others?

We all enjoy working with folks who cause us to dig deeper and envision far and wide. May we be deliberate in parenting our children into greatness? It is the least we can do.