There was a funny moment this morning when I was getting breakfast for the kids – well ironic more than funny.
The two girls were busy at the table making necklaces by threading beads onto string, and deep in concentration, they were ignoring my requests for help.
I was rushing as I was due to start work and trying to tidy the kitchen before the childminder arrived. So I genuinely needed their help but I am also conscious that I need to encourage them to take responsibility for helping around the house with small chores.
I tried again “girls, please could you get out some bowls and put them on the table?”
I remembered a blog post that I’d seen a few months ago, about how to get kids to help with housework. I could remember what didn’t work, but not what did.
Was it to give them individual tasks? Maybe that was it.
“Emmie, could you take out the Cornflakes?”
Appeal to her “big girl aspirations” maybe?
“Emmie, maybe the Cornflake box is a bit big, do you want to try lifting it and if you can’t, I’ll help you?”
As I wracked my brain to remember what the blog post conclusion was, I tried again:
“Girls, I have a meeting in two minutes, please could you help me get breakfast ready?”
Clara replied “In a minute mum, I just have to finish this necklace”
Eureka! That’s what the blog post had said!
Kids mirror their parents, we hear ourselves in their responses every day.
“In a minute”.
Like many parents, I regularly, unfortunately, say “in a minute” to my children when they ask for my help.
I remember reading the post getting kids to help with chores and deciding to work hard on this, to stop saying “in a minute” to my kids.
I guess I forgot all about it. But good that they reminded me of it this morning – or not, as the case may be. Time to try again……(in a minute)