Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Put Your Kid's To Work!

 How many parents out there have had the following scenario play out in your home: Ask child to perform a simple task, followed by child pushing off task for a few minutes, followed by parents asking a second time, followed by child pushing off task for a few more minutes, followed by parent asking (or let's be honest-Yelling) for child to do the task, followed by child yelling back and still not performing the task.  Finally followed by exasperated parent giving up...and doing the task!

Every parent at one time or another has thought, "it is just easier to do it myself!" but by repeating this scene day after day in your home, you are hurting yourself and your child.  Why?  Because you are not garnering respect from your child.  You are not giving your child life skills to use when he/she doesn't live under your roof any longer. And you are not developing your child's inner voice that will speak to him/her about the importance of doing everyday the mundane tasks that ultimately need to be done.  Think in extreme cases you are creating a future hoarder or worse, a child who grows up to be incapable of doing anything for himself/herself and lives with you forever!

The goal of parenting should be to support your child as he/she grows into an adult able to support himself/herself in the real world and thrive both socially and emotionally.  A great way to help your child become more capable is to have expectations about tasks that he/she needs to perform within your household--CHORES!

Even the littlest of children can begin to help with family tasks.  Have your two year old put toys and/or shoes and away, set the table, or even "make the bed".  Efforts of little ones will not always be up to your standards, but be patient and capitalize on the fact that are eager to help.  As they grow, their responsibilities should, too.  Kids can lend a hand on garbage day, by taking out the trash.  They can help with pet care.  They can set the table and wash dishes.  Having no expectations of your children, is granting them a free ride through life, and that is not your job.  Your job is to teach them how to thrive in the real world.  Chores also are a great way to reinforce that you are a team, your family works together and that you as the parent, are the "coach".   All these are powerful lessons for the healthy development of your children.  And though it might be a struggle at first, keep in mind that implementing chores for your kids will benefit them for years to come.  Stay strong and have high expectations!

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