Another proud moment for me this morning! My 17 month old rounded up the two boys (her dad and brother, 5) in the play room for some ‘sa size’ (exercise) and showed them how to do some crunches lol. I couldn’t help but run and record the last bit of their work out ‘session’ and it was really hard for me to not fall down laughing! I have been doing some floor sa sizes, I mean exercises on the days I cannot make it to the gym. She usually rests on my stomach and the back when I am working those muscles out, probably her way of challenging me 🙂 I have never gotten her involved in any way where else my son is my count keeper for all my rounds and he loves it! I do my best to expose them to what I feel is a healthy way to live – mentally and physically of course.
Just last week, I was having a discussion with my BFF (SS who lives in USA) about kids being involved in house chores. She and I are poles apart and I love her more and more for this reason alone 🙂 At some point, she said, and I quote “they (kids) aren’t Americans and I am not either, right?” and that was her reason/explanation for not having some form of regular chore chart for the kids (almost 8 and 4+). Her kids are gifted and gorgeous and polite and kind and social and randomly helpful to their mum. But they are born in a foreign country, where there is limited or no access to domestic help. They are going to grow up and move out of the house eventually, hopefully, and if they aren’t used to doing the basics for themselves, I don’t expect anyone to suddenly grow this sense of responsibility! In my household, I couldn’t survive if the three of them didn’t do their part – yes, I mean all three of them. The toddler knows where her dirty cups and dishes go for a wash, she knows where to grab the clean ones from too! She sometimes puts her clothes for a wash in the kitchen sink too and we all have a good laugh about it. She then asks for them and drops them in the laundry basket 🙂 Yes, she makes the most amount of mess in the house so its only fair that she contributes a little to fix it all. She is obsessed with packing up her toys and books at the end of the day and makes sure her brother does his part too. My son and husband contribute in different ways to help me run the tight ship that I do.
More often than not, I have clients seeking ways to impart some rules and boundaries to their teenage children. I resist telling them that starting early would have been much easier as the children tend to take our word as the final one and don’t know they have an option (of not listening). But its ‘never too late to teach an old dog a new trick’ I say.
For children 5 years or older, its easier to sit down with them and explain to them what the expectations are. And more importantly what the reward can be if they follow all the rules/help out with the chores as expected etc. Its easy because you can write down the rules, have a visual sticker chart for them and bribe them with something healthy, suitable and convenient. With teenagers, they need to be aware of the consequences of not helping out and doing their bit.
The message for children all age should be simple – we (family) are a team and we all need to do our part. (My kids also understand that I am not their ‘slave’ (lol) and they need to take their pride in this amazing ability they possess to help out in the house and make life easier for everyone).
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