I know that this is not the normal genre but I felt compelled to write about this topic. I am writing this from my experience and failure and hope that maybe this will help other moms.
Do you know the importance of teaching our children how to work? When I had my first couple of children, I was told to train my children now, even when it’s inconvenient. Did I believed what I heard? Absolutely! But the execution was non-existent. It was TOO hard! For the timing being, I did all the work by myself, picking up after the kids. But now that I have five, soon to be six kids, that system does not work. By the time I figured out the errors of my ways, I had children who didn’t know how to pick up after themselves. This does not work when you are have a large family.
So, how do you training your children to help around the house? Work alongside your children!!! I can hear your protests now, “It’s TOO hard!”. But let me assure your that even though it may appear to take more time, what other thing is so much important than working alongside your children? This is where I went wrong. I didn’t look at working alongside my children as a joy but merely a job that needed to be finished quickly.
What does this working alongside your children look like? Well, it should look like children helping you with age-appropriate tasks while you work. If you wash the dishes, a six- year old can dry the dishes next to you while you give your 3 year old a stool, right next to you on the other side of the sink, with her own small bucket of soapy water and dish rag and she can wash the utensils.
Maybe the leaves need to be raked up. While you and older children help you rake, have the young ones grab a plastic shovel and scoop the leaves into a wagon to be moved to the compost and another child can pick up sticks. How about when you are dusting, give a child a dust cloth and have them help you dust the legs of the furniture while you dust the more fragile items. Little kids are so happy to feel useful and be a “big helper” to mommy and daddy. It makes them feel like they are being useful and their little spirits swell with happiness since they are spending time with mommy.
I will warn you, though. Doing tasks with children will initially take a lot longer. But by training them how to do real life tasks the right way, you will save countless of hours later on. And for those who are homeschooling, sometimes this training will take the place of school books for the day. Think about the real life skills you are equipping them with!
I am not talking about reinventing the wheel. There are LOTS of great ideas out there on Pinterest and other blogs that have far more creativity than me, regarding children helping with chores. But what I want to encourage you to do, is to work alongside your children instead of saying that it is too hard. Find JOY in spending quality time your kids while working around the house. This isn’t just for moms either. Dads should involve boys in house repairs and yard work.
By working alongside your children, you are imparting invaluable knowledge to them. This is the very training that school and college can not give them. This is real life training!!!
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