Thursday, June 3, 2010

So I know some of you are not HERE yet in the stage of your journey that you are in, but I figure if you arent here yet, You will be.

Let's talk Chores!!

When I was pregnant with Toby I had an incredibly insightful nurse tell me something. Here is the Kari trying to remember version..

"Dont do it for him. When gracie is making her bed, he should be making his. When gracie is trying to dress herself then he should be learning how. Don't you clean up his toys for him. Don't let him off easy. Its the worst possible thing you can do for him."

Every time I see him struggle with his walker, holding a toy under his chin and dropping it 15xs, I want to run over grab it from him and put it and the other 10 toys on the shelf for him. Every time he insisted that he couldnt unbuckle his seatbelt I wanted to jump over him and push the little red button for him. Every time he got frustrated with his shirt and tried to put his head in the arm hole I wanted to grab it from him, throw it on and be done with it.

But I didnt.

And that my friend is my personal triumph!!

We have just recently started with chores in our family. (Of course after reading a great parenting book, "How to make your children mind without losing yours" By Dr Keven Leman.) I was really torn on Toby having a job and what kind of job he could have. I wanted him to be successful but I didnt want to sell him short. ie "Hooray!! You picked up one piece of paper and threw it away!!" So Toby's job is loading the dishwasher after dinner. It takes forever and I have to help him a little, but we throw all the rinsed dishes in a big bowl, open the dishwasher and let him go at it. You know the funny thing is?? He wanted to do another chore after he was done!! I didnt tell him he was good or anything like that. I just told him, "Thank you for helping me, You made it better for mommy by helping clean the kitchen." He totally felt like he was contributing to the family. (which is the whole point)

Anway, this post is to encourage you all to find a chore that your child can do either now or in the future. Because it really has helped. Its great to see him "help" with something instead of always being helped.
Its encouraging all the way around. So I hope this post encourages you. As that nurse told me almost 5 years ago. "Don't let him off easy." They really can do so much!!

So, for you guys with older kids....What chores do you have your child doing? Id love more ideas.


HennHouse said...

All of my kids have chores. When there are more people in the household, there are more things that need done. Of course, if the kids don't want to do their chores, they can pay someone to do them (a sibling, parent, etc...).

Chores are more of a big deal with my oldest (who has RAD, ADHD, ODD, and CD). Esther-Faith LOVES to do her chores. Make her bed. Get her enema stuff ready. Put away the silverware. Etc...

In our house, chores are age-appropriate. I would never have the four year old mow the grass, but she can help with the gardens in other ways. And the 13 year old doesn't really play with toys anymore, so cleaning the playroom is off the table for him.

One thing that works in our family is a chore list hanging up somewhere (ours in on the fridge) and EVERYONE has chores. And we have set chore time. Of course, the kids can do their chores ANY time they want, but we give them the opportunity with set time, too. For example, one of Mommy's chores is to prepare the meals. And just like with the kids, if I don't want to do it, I pay someone else (i.e. going out to dinner). That way, the kids see that it takes ALL of us to keep the household running.

Also, wanted to say that I LOVE that Kevin Leman book. However, my favorite parenting books are all from the "Parenting with Love and Logic" series. So far, the "Parenting Teens with Love and Logic" has been worth it's weight in gold.

Cassie said...

I've got to get that book! I am so bad about giving Caleb things to do. Not because he can't do them but because I'm always in a hurry and I know it will take him (or any kid) longer to do it. Definitely something I need to work on. I will be getting this book from the library!

Holli (and Mark) said...

We are not there yet as Alex is just 10 months adjusted BUT your post still spoke to me. A reminder that even at THIS age, its important to remember that need to experience the accomplishment of doing it themselves even though its soooo hard for me to watch him struggle. Alex is working on sitting up. He falls back A LOT and would rather cry until I help him get back up. I hate hearing him cry but my PT reminds me that he CAN do more and to encourage him to try instead of rushing in to rescue him. I'm not 100% even at this little task but the times he gets back to sitting by himself (with the help of a properly balanced boppy pillow) he has this absolute look of satisfaction!!!
thank you for the reminder!!

The Forest Minstrel said...

I don't have a child with Spina Bifida, but I have a "nephew" who has it. This post applies to "Honorary Aunties" as well because it's an ingrained desire to help! Thank you for the advice, even if it was aimed more at parents. And, keep doing a wonderful job!
God Bless you (more than He has already)

Scasmflops said...

This is a good reminder Kari. Thank you. I was also told the same thing, and I do find that even though Carson is only 6 months old, I find myself doing things that do make it easier and more convenient for him so that he doesn't get stressed. When really it's more me hurting and stressed by watching him struggle.

Forest Minstrel--- of course it applies to Aunties, our kiddos and us mommies wouldn't be who they are without all the support and love we receive. :)

Anonymous said...

Our son, Brendan is 3 and can walk with a walker but mostly crawls at home. I will usually ask him to put his fork/spoon in the sink to be washed, throw away his napkin, push containers (like catsup, etc.) over to the fridge to be put away by his older siblings, put his dirty clothes in the laundry hamper and to pick up the toys he got out. Like Cassie said, sometimes it seems to take forever and I have to remind myself to let him do it. One thing we stress at our house is "we can't say can't!" Brendan will still say it and I'll say "Sure you can, try again" and then sit on my hands so I won't do it for him. But hearing him yell, "I DID IT!" and seeing that look on his face of satisfation and pure joy at accomplishing something he thought was difficult makes it worth all the extra time in the world!

I don't ever want Brendan to think that he can't do something just because he has SB. I want him to at least try- several times! We may have to figure out his own way of doing things, but I pray that he will have the attitude that he can do whatever he sets his mind to do! (And that I can be strong enough to sit back and watch him struggle through w/o doing it for him!)

Gretchen said...

This is a HUGE point of contention in our home, where my 10 year old son not only has SB, but also ODD and ADHD... fun times! BUT I am a stickler on chores... his chores are: clear the dinner table, empty the bath room trash daily (since it fills up rapidly with HIS cathing supplies and pull ups!), make his bed and feed his fish. It usually takes him almost 3 HOURS to get these few things done! But do them he does :) My 7 year old also has chores, and she has more and harder ones because that is her function level!

Thanks for the reminder and validation that the daily battle IS worth it in the long run :)

@ HennHouse.. we LOVE LVOE LOVE the love and logic series too, and my other go to series is the 5 Love Languages.. great in ANY relationship (parent/child, worker/co worker, boss/employee... ect...)