Monday, May 17, 2010

Nurturing our children

I found another great book at the library called "401 ways to get your kids to work at home" by Bonnnie McCullough and Susan Monson. I highly recommend it. 240 pages includes: lists of skills to be learned at home and at what age is it appropriate to be expected, a wide variety of chore charts and an assortment of rewards, advise for trouble-shooting, and being flexible in achieving results as your family's situation changes.

The extensive list of skills encompassed alot more than I had initially considered: personal care skills, clothing care skills, household skills, cooking skills, money skills, navigation & auto skills, and misc. skills such as learn to swim, plan a party, paint a room, etc.

The authors feel strongly about children being included in the setting of goals pertaining to housework, plus discussing these goals and more during a weekly family council. This practice instills the children with a sense of belonging and contribution to their family.

My favorite ideas were in the rewards chapter. Pick a board game your child enjoys playing, each time you want to reward them for good work you give them a piece or two. Once they have earned all the pieces, your child will be thrilled because you will sit down and play that game with them. For example, marbles for Chinese checkers, dominoes, or any game that was a nice number of pieces.

The other idea I thought was fun was to have random inspections. If your child's jobs are done on time you would leave a note and maybe a small treat on their bed saying what a good job they are doing. Oh, I forgot to mention that actually it is the "House fairy" that stops by for the inspection. So in this example if the child's job is not done the note says "I stopped by to take a peek, twenty jelly beans were for you, but I had to subtract a few. Better luck next time!" Something like this would be a great surprise and help keep your children on their toes.

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