‘Did you remember to close the tap? What? You DIDN’T?’
‘Is your room neat? I am NOT picking up any more toys!’
Kids are wired differently. But, I’m guessing you know that by now. If you’re a new parent, just stepping into those shoes, believe me, there are challenges ahead.
Trigger: ‘Lack of interest’ in performing tasks
These are sample scenarios I have listed, some of which you can identify with and others you will agree with. What was clear from my journey was the fact that I was giving orders and expecting instant obedience. Well, guess what; this isn’t the Army 🙂
As I moved ahead on this parenting path, one thing came to the fore. Every time I made something FUN for my daughter, not only did the task get done, it would be done at lightning speed and with a smile to boot!
- I make funny faces: Yes, I know how that sounds, but it works. Trust me! If the child is not closing the tap after use, make a face and say that you’re the tap, who is crying, because she forgot to turn you off. Kids laugh and do the job pronto 🙂
- I get down to her level: Instead of ‘telling’ her what to do, I ask her what she’d like to do. We discuss what would be the quickest way to pick up the toys. I suggest making a sound like a train, while she suggests prowling around like a tigress, picking up the scattered toys. We compete playfully and get the job done in half the time! That and a shared sense of responsibility work very well.
- I model the behaviour I expect: There’s no way someone is going to do something, if they don’t see it being done first. Kids are no exception to this rule. If I put my clothes in the hamper every single day, sooner or later (most likely, later), the child will get a feel for the routine and do it himself.
- I praise and reward: A few years ago, my husband picked up a Magnetic Responsibility chart, which has lovely reward icons with smiley faces on them for all chores. It’s an easy way to give them non-material rewards without having to repeat yourself ad nauseum. The colours make it attractive and fun!
- I make tasks fun by making up a song: It’s annoying to repeat yourself over and over again for mundane tasks. I get it. We have a hundred other things on our mind and this tardiness and lack of ‘responsibility’ just gets on our nerves! So, I recently came up with an idea to make up a rap song for simple chores. Here’s one I created for brushing:
Here, each week, we will explore an aspect of positive parenting, a tool or a technique that has helped me in my journey. If you’ve visited before, you may be familiar with my Yelling Less journal. It was a week-long challenge that I undertook in July last year.
Ever since, it’s been a series of management tips for various scenarios. I owe a lot of my gratitude toThe Orange Rhino, who was the original inspiration for my journey.