Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chore Training

At the age of 6 and nearly 4, my children are growing fast.  And it just recently became apparently to me that they're capable of much more than I give them credit for.  It's funny how I hear stories of things they're doing at school or other people's houses and realize that they could be doing the same things at home.  But from day to day, they're just my babies.

But when you're just getting started, how do you get from babies to helpers?  We can't just hand them the broom and hope for the best.  We'll just be frustrating ourselves and setting our children up for failure.  So how do we get started?

We have a pattern in ministry that applies the same in our house: I do, you watch; I do, you help; You do, I help; You do, I watch.  Let's break it down.

*I do, you watch-- When my kids are first introduced to a new chore, I don't expect them to have any clue what I'm asking of them.  And they don't.  You'd be amazed at some of the questions they ask if given the chance.  They have no idea where to start.  So I'll take them aside and we'll go through it, step by step, sometimes half-step by half-step.

*I do, you help-- The next step is to go through the chore again with my child, having them help me where they can.  This brings up more questions.  Sometimes I remember details I had forgotten before and it's a new training again.

*You do, I help-- Then I'll ask the kids to complete a chore and I'll stay alongside them in case they need any help.  Sometimes they need a little reminder of where the spray is kept or how much food to give the cat.  And I'm close by helping to make sure they're learning.

*You do, I watch-- Finally, the kids take charge of their own chores.  Oh, I'm still close by to answer questions, but this time, I might be in the kitchen getting supper ready or helping a younger kid make their bed.  This is the step where they really take ownership of the chore.

A few things to keep in mind as you embark on this journey:
*Be encouraging.  Encouragement will go a long way in seeing the end result.
*Remember to work alongside your kids in the training period.
*Kid work won't produce adult results.  Understand that your children are still children and it won't look like you did the job.  But that's ok.  Keep at it, be encouraging, and one day you will have worked yourself out of a job.
*Inspect what you expect.  After your child has completed a chore, make sure you check the results.  It is kid work, but it shouldn't be half-done.

What about you?  How are you implementing chores in your home?

2 comments:

KG Style said...

Following you from the Blog Hop!
I do the same exact thing with my kids! And also - if they don't do something as "perfect" as I would do it - I do not make them do it again my way. For example, like making their bed. As long as it's neat to their standards, I don't mind it not being top notch neat.

Brandi said...

That is a great idea! I think I will start implementing this in our home. :) Even though Marlee is only 2 (almost 3), she can do some things. :)

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