Teach the kids to pitch in
Guest post by: Sheila Zayas
You’ve race around all day running errands, cooking, picking up and dropping the kids off. At the end of the day, you plop down in your bed – exhausted and feeling as if you did so much yet accomplished so little. Sound familiar?
A disorganized schedule can lead to stress, frustration, anxiety, and quarreling with loved ones. Fortunately, hope exists for those families with extremely busy schedules that usually leave a burden on Mom.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to take tasks off Mom’s hands is to assign those tasks to the children. This not only helps Mom in clearing her schedule, it is an extremely important means of teaching your children responsibility and domestic skills.
From the time that I could remember, it was almost an unspoken rule in my house that if my sister swept the floor, I’d have to mop it.
Likewise, if I did the laundry, she’d have to fold the clothes.
Nowadays the dishwasher automatically washes the dishes. But I remember growing up my sister and I traded dish washing nights. One night it was her turn to wash the dishes and the next night it was mine.
Until this day, I can not stand to see dishes in the sink for too long.
So the habits have even stayed with me through my adulthood.
Start teaching your children about chores at an early age to help them form the habit. Show them what and how you would like them to clean a certain area. You can start out by teaching them to clean their room.
Then move to bigger areas as the child gets older.
Remember that children are like sponges absorbing everything you do rather than everything you say. So be sure to leave enough housework for you to do. This way, they can see you doing something as well.
If you have teenagers, appoint them to run errands to the store or to pick up/drop off younger siblings. Teenagers will jump at any chance they get to drive. This not only teaches them to be independent, it makes them feel like you trust them.
Set up a reward system. However, use rewards carefully. You do not want to give your children the idea that cleaning and helping around the house is only done to get something in return. You know your child better than anyone and you know what works for him/her.
Make helping out fun for them. Crank up the music to their favorite CD or radio station. My sister and I would turn on the music on a Saturday morning and dance around the house while we dusted, swept, wiped, and cleaned the house. Now, some of my most relaxing and enjoyable time is spent while cleaning and singing my heart out to the world because it brings me back in time to those days.
While your kids won’t necessarily enjoy doing chores, I guarantee that they will thank you in adulthood. It will be difficult at first, but will be all worth the while.
You’ll be able to free more time for yourself while teaching your children lifelong skills and responsibility.
Sheila Zayas is president of Harmony Perfect Organizers, a professional organizing company based out of West Palm Beach, FL that specializes in helping families organize their schedules so they can live happier and fuller lives. She succeeded in helping a family in which the parents were on the verge of a divorce as a result of a disorganized schedule and lack of goals. Sheila is a speaker that addresses the topics of time management and document control. She can be reached at email@example.com or (561) 512-8771 .
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