Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Helping Hands

I truly love these days, the days that my little ones ask to help out. It doesn't happen often, and when it does it is usually to help out in the kitchen. Most of the time I am too busy, distracted, or frustrated to have them "help" me out, then I feel really bad about not including them. So the other day, while the older two boys were out with friends I decided to let these guys help. No, it wasn't easy and they really didn't listen very well, but they helped, they had fun doing it, and we will be doing it a lot more often. We were making Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie. They squealed with delight when I told them they would be cutting up the bananas for the pie. The very idea that I allowed them to use a knife was so exciting for them, all of a sudden they grew up before my eyes, concentrated on their task and the seriousness and focus is just too cute. Chores, keeping the house clean, getting the kids to willingly help out and keep the house running smooth has been very difficult over the last few years, so with a new school year just around the corner and me needing to focus on planning.
This day of help has really made me think about how to structure our new year, and lots of hands on learning will be incorporated this year in the form of Home Economics course for all the kids. My husband recently came across a post that recommended 10 minute cleaning sessions which sounded promising in getting them to learn gradually and hopefully begin to, dare I say, enjoy the idea of a clean house. I wish I could remember the site it came from it was a great article. My favorite part was the idea that fun things could be added to the "jar of chores"...so one might pick 10 minutes of reading instead of a cleaning chore. She wasn't very specific about how many times she did this, but I am thinking that if we could get a total of 30-40 minutes of cleaning per day even if it isn't a perfect 30-40 minutes a day it is better than the close to no cleaning per day that we usually get, right?

We are still working on becoming a family that yells less and loves more and I think that this trial run of restructuring our life will only help to make that a reality. Update: We are still striving to have a week free of yelling and honestly I don't think it has happened yet, but we have had a few days in a row that were free of yelling and any progress is progress. We will keep working...

The Banana Cream Pie was wonderful by the way...and on a side note do you see the amazing bowl of big beautiful tomatoes that came out of our garden.

How do you calmly include your children in daily tasks in your family....

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