Is Your Child Resisting Chores?
Just the other day, I was tending to my baby in the bathroom and I needed the help of his older, 4-year old sister.
The ‘former’ me would have just shouted for her to come over and then I would have gone ahead to ‘dish’ out my instructions to her. By the way, what I wanted her to do was to help throw away the ‘used’ diapers which were in the bedroom and the bathroom. As in, during the night, I had changed my baby’s diaper twice and because the bin assigned to my bedroom had not been returned, I had simply dumped the diapers on the floor, right next to the bed… because I didn’t want to drag my tired body out of the room at that time of the night.
So, yes, as I got my baby ready, I wanted my daughter to help throw away the dirty diapers and rather than acting like the usual mommy-in-command, I did something different. I told her I was sending her on a maze adventure. I explained that there were 2 diapers in the bedroom and 1 in the bathroom. Her task was to therefore find all 3 diapers and throw them in the dust bin downstairs.
My dear moms, you should have seen my daughter’s face light up. Then, she broke into these ridiculous giggles before speeding off to complete her chore, which I had somehow managed to turn into a game.
To be honest, I am not sure I have ever seen a child react to chores with such eager excitement. You would have thought that I had just offered her a bowl of ice-cream. That’s right, no-one would have believed that a set of dirty diapers were the very things cracking up the little one.
Anyway, taking a valid lesson from the experience, I occasionally started turning chores into games and believe me, the response has been amazing all the way. There was even a day when she kept ‘disturbing’ me to find something for her to do even though, at that time, I had absolutely no chores for her. So, rather than dampen her spirit, i had to make up something.
Okay, where am I going with this? Just as schools talk about making learning fun, we too, as parents, can make chores and responsibilities more fun for our children. Obviously, I’m not saying that every chore must be turned into a game because, at the end of the day, children need to learn how to take basic instructions without putting up naughty resistances. However, with that said, who says that we cannot get creative with some select chores. You know, giving the children a treat and helping them understand that creativity has no boundaries. Doing this will definitely help them to enjoy tasks that they would, otherwise, have naturally hated.
So, yes, rather than consistently shoving chores down at your children, get creative. Turn some chores in games. They could even be learning games because, for example, my daughter did not just throw away the diapers, she got to count as well. In addition, we got to bond in the process because, to her, I was suddenly this cool mom who came up with this amazing game that cost me absolutely no money.
Now, before I go, one final advice would be that when it comes to chores, we must not always distance ourselves from our children. You know, the tendency is for the mommy to send her child off to do task XYZ on his/her own while she hurriedly does task ABC on her own.
Instead of doing that, why not turn chores into Do-It-Together projects for you and your little one. Slow down. Don’t always be in a hurry to do your own bit and then send your child to do his/her own bit. Why not work together. Trust me, doing this will leave you amazed at just how far your involvement can go in turning your child into a willing participant.
Okay, at this junction, i think I have said enough. So, over to you….What do you think about my method? How have you tried making chores more fun for your children?
Image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net