I detest, abhor, disgust and all other synonyms of hate – the fact that women in India are designated for housekeeping (even if one is a working woman) while men can relax and watch TV no matter how jobless one can be. In fact, the day my son was born, I was a little troubled of the huge responsibility of bringing up an Indian boy against the unwritten norms of our society. However, not only was I surprised but also relieved to witness the self-enthusiasm in him to initiate house chores. Yes, while it took two years after marriage to train H to carry his plate from the dining area to the wash area, my son seemed to need no training 🙄 Today, at the age of two, he enjoys adding clothes into the washing machine and cleaning the window panels. Most of all, he helps me dearly in passing the washed clothes out from the machine for drying. And I am utterly happy that he is disciplined in placing his plates and cups at the wash area soon after dining.
You should call me greedy if I took all the credit. Perhaps, he learned by seeing me do things. However, one of the great influences I get inspired from are the parenting articles I read online. One particular article I remember that helped me with training my son is Creative ways to make children do their chores with a smile in the Reward Me’s Family Life column.
In the article, a Los Angeles-based journalist, Pat Saperstein, writes a few helpful tips to get children to the practice of taking care of little chores around the home. While I wasn’t sure if I must put my son to work early at the age of two, Saperstein’s words reassured me that it is in fact better to train kids at an early age. I am happy I took her advice for it might have been difficult to make things work at a later stage.
Kids need to know that simple tasks like putting dishes away or cleaning their room are part of normal life, and not something out of the ordinary.
It was useful to note the ‘creativity’ point mentioned in the article. It says children must be given a variety of helpful activities instead of boring them with the same routine again and again. I didn’t think about it until I read here. I used to make him do only the laundry work everyday. However, now I let him place the folded clothes in the closet and arrange his shoes in the shoe rack. Of course, I see how elated he feels with every new responsibility.
Another interesting tip I gathered from the article is not to allow privileges until the chores are done. I didn’t want to be hard on him earlier. Every time, I kept replacing his toys to their respective shelves by myself but that wasn’t making him realize the need to keep his things in order. I practiced this tip from the article. I refused to take him out to the play area until he arranged his toys. Believe me, in a week, he learnt to keep his things in place before he would call me to get ready to go down 🙂
I shall also remember Saperstein’s advice to set realistic expectations with kids as they grow older and avoid too much arguments about chores. Here’s one last quote from the article:
To win the chore game, you need to be consistent, manage your expectations and bring a sense of fun to mundane household tasks.
Grateful to Saperstein’s words for I could be a responsible mother. Certaily, I don’t want wives of the next generation to sweat-out to train their husbands do simple tasks at home. There are several other helpful articles in Reward Me about Family Life, Food, Home Decor, Health & Well-being and Beauty Tips that are waiting my read. Truly, a blessing!
Credit: Header Photo and Quotes were taken from the article mentioned in the post.