Posted on | June 10, 2008 | No Comments
I’ve heard so many other parents gripe about how difficult it can be to get their child to help out with daily chores. This makes me think back 20 years and remember how much I hated doing that kind of mundane stuff. Getting me to clean anything (including myself) was and still is a feat.
Yesterday, I was making our bed. My two year old daughter wanted to help and jumped in. Obviously, she has yet to gain proficiency in bed making and was slowing me down. I began to think of some menial task that I could give her which would allow me to finish my work and then something dawned on me.
Kids see us doing work and want to help. Since they’re so small and inexperienced, we tell them to go sit down, they can ‘watch’ , or we give them some kind of busywork to get them out of our hair so that we can finish whatever it is that we happen to be doing.
After five or more years of telling them to go sit and watch, we complain when they sit there and watch while we break our backs doing chores. Well, that’s exactly what we trained them to do How long does it take to un-learn behavior? Much longer than it took to acquire, for certain.
Happy to report, I can now make a bed while a two year old is jumping on it and trying to hand me pillows.