“Quick Quick!” “Hurry Hurry!” “Come on we’re late!” Give it to me I’ll do it. No! you’ll hurt yourself. Be careful I’ve just cleaned up. I’ll do it you will only spill it. No! you’ll make a mess. Don’t do that. Stop shouting. Stop running around you’ll break something. Be quiet your making too much noise. Look at the mess you’ve made. Now look what you made me do!
Sounds Familiar? Of course it does, we are parents, it’s what we do best and god knows I’m probably world champion at barking at the kids.
Looking at these sentences written down on a page I’m shocked to realize that they are not the words of a loving parent but rather like the negative ranting of a controlling, bossy school yard bully who blames everyone else for what is going wrong. And the scary thing is this is what the kids hear which is not good for their confidence of self-esteem or my relationship with them.The problem is, that as parents we are so busy buzzing round trying to keep the cosmos in its fragile state of equilibrium while doing our best to raise a bunch of nutty kids. So in a futile effort to make time to visit the loo it is often easier and quicker for us to do “EVERYTHING” for our kids to try and keep one step ahead. As quick as we can we set the table, make their breakfast, make their lunch, get their clothes, probably help them dress, tidy their room, pick up their clothes, clean up after them, put away their toys, wash the dishes, sweep the floor the list goes on and on. God knows I do my fair share and while we are all doing this the kids are probably sitting on their cute little bottoms scrapping over who’s go it is on the Wii or what TV show they want to watch.
So here are my thoughts on the subject. Firstly kids are kids and need to do what kids do. They need to play, explore, get excited, shout and scream and run around, climb things fall off them, bang their knee and climb back up again, they need to bake things, make things and break things. All these activities and behaviors gel together into what we all like to call “Learning”. So as parents we need to nurture and embrace this behavior but also channel all this energy into constructive learning. I don’t think we give kids enough credit for their intelligence, ability and desire to do things for themselves so from a very early age it is important to encourage kids to have lots of fun and play but also to do thing for themselves.
So as well as doing all the fun stuff there is no reason why the kids can’t do the boring stuff as well. So next time when your slaving away in the house encourage the kids to come and help. Have a chat with them while they are helping, tell them how great they are, make some chores their entire responsibility each day and most of all make it fun. For Example we encourage Molly to set the table and when she really gets into it she sets a place for Adam and places a picture of Adam, a candle and a little angel on the table which is really lovely and we all have a lovely dinner time. This fun way of delegating household chores not only enhances your own relationship with your kids as you both communicate while working but it also helps build independence confidence and self esteem a strong work ethic and ability to figure things out for themselves and after all it is better than leaving them in another room watching TV.
Of course it’s not always plain sailing all the time, there will always be resistance, crankiness and tiredness so there are no hard and fast rules. So don’t end up having a row just try and encourage them to help so they do it willingly and pick your moments and your battles and don’t try this technique when you’re rushing out the door already 10 minutes late for school.
Good luck, be brave and have a great week.I would love to hear your comments or suggestions so if you have any please add them by clicking the comments button.
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