If I hear one more time a new mother say, "But the doctor said..." I will scream! They aren't gods especially those who have never had their own children. Sometimes the more education you get, the more common sense goes out the window. You see, it is easy to read out of a book "What to do when..." but whether the solution really solves your problem with your child is a whole 'nother problem!
When wise grandma tells you about a home remedy that worked for her eight plus children, new mothers should at least make a consideration. When dad says he knows a few tricks to get a colicky baby to go to sleep (outside the use of Tylenol every other day,) a new father should say, "I'm listening."
These defensive new parents who think they know-it-all because they read something somewhere, the doctor told them or they saw something on TV, should be quiet long enough to say, "Hmm I never tried that."
It isn't any wonder that some babies have diaper rash that never seems to go away, obesity issues, constant health problems and the like, the parents keep going to the same sources for information and coming up with nothing.
I made up in my mind a long time ago (back when I was in my terrible twenties) to at least hear the old folks out. I thought of a time when I tried a stinky herbal remedy for my fussy baby at my grandmother and mother's request. Then my mother-in-law at the time, who hadn't heard about it, had something to say negative, because she hadn't thought of it (but I digress lol.)
I recall when there was an old lady who made a comment about covering my baby's head when she noticed it was getting cooler out. I learned the hard way that evening when my firstborn son cried so much after having a little too much night air exposure on an uncovered head. There were moments when I was warned about candy, cookies and drinks prior to nap and bedtimes, I learned the hard way once again when I couldn't get two of my sons to settle down.
So I leave you with this new parents, value wisdom, it is far more valuable then anything you think you might know.
There are adults who don’t use common sense when it comes to operating certain equipment; could it be that these irresponsible, accident prone adults were never shown how to do anything by their parents? Well you don’t have to be that way; here are some great teaching tools to help your child help you get some household chores done. If you have noticed your child can’t carry a cup across the floor without spilling it, then he may be too young to take on these responsibilities. Teach him or her how to master the spills first, before beginning these tasks.
The ideas following will not mention using the stove simply because it can be a bit intimidating for a small child. So I am sticking with the fun items they usually see on those infomercials on the weekends.
Handheld and Regular Vacuum
Now I must admit I have had my children using these since they were two. I think it makes them responsible for their messes. Why should I have to vacuum the crumbs out the chairs with the handheld vacuum? Then moments later I have to vacuum more crumbs that have fallen to the floor. One time I counted almost five times in one day cleaning behind my four little boys who rushed to eat at the dining room table back in the summer and then rushed off. Instead of making it an occasional chore, it was one of the main chores on the 7 and 8 year olds list. Now the two year old is using the As Seen on TV Cordless Sweeper to clean up his mess.
Now I can tell you that this is an absolute blessing! I am not dumping buckets of water in the toilet. Nor, am I wringing out a dirty mop. So I thought if it is this easy for me, surely we can let the kids in on it. They were happy to use it since they saw it on TV. They just press a button to let out some water, let off it when you have your desired amount and let the steam work its magic. They were glad to see the steam mop because they knew that would be more money for them.
Now the toaster is absolutely my very best friend on those days with the children want to get up before the birds chirp. I tell them, “Grab a piece of fruit out of the fridge and drop some toast in the toaster!” They have been dropping toast in the toaster since 5 years along with making their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Now these are a godsend! You strap those little hands with some gloves give them some wipes and tell them, “Just like I use to wipe your butt when you had poop on it, I want you to wipe the toilet seat first, then throw it away, get a fresh wipe and clean the sink, another for the counter top, and another for all the knobs in the bathroom.” You see that is a start, then when their arms get a little longer or you can do like I did since I couldn’t wait for their arms to get any longer, I bought a squeegee, you know that handy tool that you use to clean your windows at the gas station, and I showed them how to clean the tiled walls, the glass door, and tubs with it. It’s fun for them and another great time saver for me.
Now I have no problem giving money to my children for household chores that are outside of their room. However, chores within their rooms are not up for pay. It is automatically expected that at least once a week, they should be checking their room for anything that needs to be thrown out, vacuumed, donated, dusted, and more.
The children do help with the dusting. They will come and tell me sometimes when they see dust and ask me, “Can I get an old rag and wipe that off?” They don’t have to ask me twice, “Sure and here’s a dollar or two because I didn’t have to ask you.”
Laundry, Fold Clothes and Put Them Away
I personally knew how to wash clothes at a very young age and I will tell you I remember it was scary in the basement, but it was a comfort to put those clothes in the machine and turn it on. There was something about turning on the machine that killed that eerie silence in the basement. But I digress, so what have I been doing lately to get them ready for this chore is what I call “The Monkey See, Monkey Do” principal. It pretty much goes like this, “Watch what I use, how I measure, and where I place things.” They no to check every pocket before they put something in the laundry and then recheck before the clothes go in the machine. Now the dryer is a little bit tricky because they have to remember to clean the lint tray before (in case someone forgot) and then after. They also have to learn how to feel around to be sure all clothes are dry. That’s it. So sooner or later I will be able to trust them to do it all by themselves.
Now other things I plan to show them in the future is Dishwasher Loading and Hand Washing Dishes 101, Stovetop Cooking 102 (the oldest knows how to scramble eggs), and I’m sure if they spend any length of time with other members of the family they will be learning, Gardening 101, Cutting Grass 101, and “Could you help me pick up my tools?” 501, oh that’s me. I grew up with the landscaping classes and I hate them.
You see when you have a house with more than one child, you need to start putting the children who are old enough to turn on the television, pick up the remote and select their favorite show, to work. Too many mothers are absolutely burnt out because their man isn’t cleaning, the children aren’t cleaning, and anyone who doesn’t live there isn’t offering to help. She has to be the one to put the dishes away, tend to the little ones, cook, do laundry, and so on and so forth while everyone else is usually seated in front of the idiot box watching the game. I think not! Everyone has a weekly chore or two or three to do in my house.
So how do you get these folks to participate? You manage to get the older children to do things by reminding them about what is in your wallet. If you have taught them well about the power of money, then they will be more than happy to help out. You get the preschoolers to work by reminding them of that toy they saw on TV, the favorite snack they want, or some other thing they absolutely love. As for the husband, well you know if you come to bed exhausted enough, then he will see a pattern and start pitching in or making them help (if you have a lazy child or two) because he is missing out on the things he wants too! Know what I mean!? It takes some training, but once the children see you aren’t a wishy-washy parent --you mean what you say, and your spouse sees that you can really use the help; they will all respect you and do their chores. Otherwise, you can always go on a long vacation.
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