Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Getting Kids to Help at Home!

This is my third review from the workshops I attended at the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Conference.  To read about the other two, click on my blog header and scroll down!

This workshop about how to get kids to help at home was presented by Vicki Bentley.  If you missed my intro to Mrs. Bentley in another review, she is a mom of 8 girls and a foster mom of over 50.  She has homeschooled since 1988.

This was a great workshop on why it is important to get your kids to help at home.
I have heard many excuses...and I have my own at times...

It is easier & faster to do things on my own.
My kids are too busy.
They are too young.
Their friends don't have to help out...I hate to make mine.

Mrs. Bentley starts off by telling us we should set goals for our house.  Do we want productive citizens of society, or do we want our children to go away without the skills that it takes to run a household?

Here are some highlights from her presentation:

  • We need to tell our children what we expect.  We can't just assume they are going to pick up their room...the correct way.  We need to be specific.
  • Put expectations into writing or on visual cue cards.  For example: Before breakfast you need to make your bed, get dressed, feed the cat etc.
  • Don't put up with sulking, pouting, whining, or complaining.
  • Do things together, so your child can learn from you.  Don't just say, go clean the bathroom and expect them to know how to clean it the correct way.  Do it while explaining how to do it.  It may take months for a child to properly do a chore/task.
  • Make sure they do a thorough and complete job. Check their work.  Have them correct their mistakes and don't finish the job for them.
  • Make sure your kids are diligent.  A constant effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken.  Don't let them give up if they can't do something the first time.
  • Assign responsibilities if you have to.  Can be weekly, monthly, or even yearly chores.  Have a chore jar for once a year chores.  
  • Kids shouldn't expect an allowance for messes they make.  It is ok to give an allowance for extra above and beyond chores.
  • Make a tidy list.  When I stand in the doorway and look at the room it is a pleasant place to be.
  • Teach your kids to take care of a home and assume responsibility.
  • When they are older, try out zone cleaning.  For example, for this month Susy is responsible for the kitchen zone.  Peter is responsible for the garage zone etc.
  • To make it easier for the child to succeed with chores, have a place for everything so they can know where to put things back.
  • Teach them that if you don't have time to do it right, you don't have time to do it over.
  • If they need awards or stickers, go for it.  Whatever you motivates your child.  You can eventually wean them from these rewards.
In my own home, I have been involving my kids with chores.  I don't clean their room for them. They are required to help with tasks around the house...emptying trashes, doing dishes, feeding the cat/dog, letting the dog out etc.  I am starting to teach my girls how to clean the bathrooms (alone...yay!!) now that I am using a water only cleaning method...and no chemicals to worry about.  I get a bit of whining from a certain 5 year old at times, but as she realizes the whining gets her no where and actually adds to her workload, I am seeing it much less...for example she whined about cleaning up the cat litter...oh well then if you like it so much, you can do it for the next 3 times.  That'll teach her:)

Another great idea that she brought up, was if you feel like you have to give your children allowances, do it for extra task that aren't the normal things they have to do.  At the end of the week give them a set amount of maybe $5.00 or whatever works for you. If you asked child X to do something and they passed then you asked child Z to do take away $ from child X to pay child Z.  They'll learn with time that it isn't very much fun paying a sibling!  Great tip!  Not thinking we will go the allowance route, but if we ever do...I will have to keep this in mind!

Here are a few verses from the Bible about helping:

Galations 6:9-  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Proverbs 16:3-  Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.

Read Proverbs 4.

Colossians 3:23-  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Proverbs 22:6- Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

 Proverbs 29:17- Discipline your children, and they will give you peace they will bring you the delights you desire.

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