For starters, a friend of mine (who is also a fabulous mom) posted a story on Facebook yesterday about some words of wisdom she had received from her 5 year old daughter. My friend (I'll call her A) made a very general request to which her daughter complied. Her daughter didn't do it the way A would have done it, though. Through her daughter's words, A realized that she couldn't be upset because her request was so general and the end result still worked. (Thanks, A - you're awesome!)
The same principle applies to my kids and their chores. I cannot expect specific result if I don't make specific requests. Just saying "clean the playroom" or "clean your room" is not enough because, obviously, their version of clean is not the same as my version of clean. I have to give specifics; put the books on the shelf, sort the art supplies, etc.
Here is my second revelation. After my kids finished their chores, my oldest asked "Why do we have to do chores anyway?" This, of course, made me realize that I had never explained the logic behind my nifty little chore chart, so I seized the opportunity and gave her the following reasons:
- Keeping our house clean shows that we are thankful for what we have and that we take pride in it. For example, if you don't take care of a toy, it will probably get lost or broken. We are very fortunate to have a nice house and nice things, so we should take care of them.
- Keeping things cleaned up keeps us organized. If you need a specific toy or want a particular outfit, it is much easier to find if it is in the proper place - not on the floor covered by other toys or in a pile of laundry three feet high.
- It shows respect for your father and me. We work hard to provide you with nice things and maintain a comfortable house. When you do the chores we ask you to, it shows that you appreciate what we do and that you are willing to help out.
Want to see the end result of all these revelations?????
|Cue the sparkly lights and the hallelujah chorus!|
Let me finish by clarifying something, though. Please do not get the impression that today's chores were done by happy children who whistled and skipped about as they cheerfully cleaned up. There was plenty of complaining, whining, eye-rolling, and even some yelling. My hope is, though, that we ALL learned a few lessons and that, if we ALL continue to practice what we have learned, it will get easier. Maybe.
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