Tag Archives: family

Engaging Kids in Housework

Kids don’t want to do chores. That’s a fact. Expect this. That doesn’t mean let them off the hook. It is essential for our kids to be contributing members of the family to develop an investment in and consideration for their family members. A family is a team. When you are on a team, every team player is important to the working of the whole.

But when you yell, bribe, or threaten them to do their chores, the underlying assumption is that they should want to but they don’t. This unrealistic expectation means you will yell when that expectation is not met. But if you understand that kids don’t want to do chores, you will be more effective at ensuring they get to work.

Remember when your toddlers and preschoolers begged to run the vacuum, fold laundry, wash windows, and sweep the floor? It would have taken the entire morning and you’d have to do it over anyway. You didn’t have the time or patience so you got them out of the way to just get it done. Well, you might have missed your chance. Little children want to help — until we make them.

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On Being a Parent

Becoming a parent is easy. Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever have. There are as many “shoulds” and “oughts” about parenting as books on bookstore shelves. What should you do? Who do you listen to?

Some say trust your instincts. I agree. After all we are evolved to procreate and raise children in the culture of our heritage. It should be as easy as it appears for the birds and the bees. But where are all those wise instincts we’re born with? For most of us, they are buried under layers upon layers and years and years of being told what to do, when to do it and how to do it. We’re taught if we don’t listen to parents and elders, we will be in trouble, maybe not be loved or accepted. Years of learned experience has set up detours and roadblocks tricking most of us away from our instincts to look in the wrong direction for the answers.

The answer is found in trusting yourself.

But first you have to believe that you actually do know what to do? Probably you learned you shouldn’t trust yourself because you were taught to listen to your parents and teachers no matter what. Giving your opinion was thought of as rude and “talking back”. You probably decided to just keep quiet and stay out of the way so nobody yelled at you. Or you decided you didn’t need anybody and began listening to the wrong people. You learned so much in all those developing years – just not how to trust yourself.

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Home for the Holidays: Stressful or Inviting?

When it’s “home for the holidays”, it is the rare adult who does not trip back into the role they played as a child within their family of origin. The same old feuds, difficult relationships, favoritisms, and grudges occur. Perhaps they are held beneath the surface, but active there none-the-less. Often home means nurturing, warmth, support, and familiar customs. But it can just as easily mean criticism, disapproval, discomfort, and for those raising their own children, humiliation, intimidation and insecurity as well.

Anticipation and stress can provoke a parent into relinquishing whatever authority they have with their children in the shadow of disapproving family members who expect well-mannered, pleasant children who do what they are told. Parents who struggle with high needs children hold their breath, hoping for good behavior and no scenes and easily fall victim to the authority and opinions of their parents and in-laws. It’s easy for those who do not experience the daily struggles of parenting to know just what this child needs. Unsolicited advice, disapproving looks, and uninvited discipline from parents, grandparents, in-laws and siblings can undermine even the strongest parent of a child reacting to the stress of the situation.

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My Homework Challenge: Being Your Child’s Best Advocate
Homework
Let me guess what your biggest worries/concerns/battles are about when it comes to your child and school.         Homework, right?

What do you most want for your child? Is it to be happy, respectful, kind, responsible, confident, independent, and successful? Or would you rather your child bring home a great report card, a 3.5 GPA, and high SAT scores? Often we get mired down in the minutia of day-to-day struggles and fears and fail to see the big picture of our children’s lives.

Do you set expectations for your children’s school year that are unrealistic for your child? Do you spend time worrying about your child failing or at least not meeting up to the students who do the best? Do you harp on homework and end up in battles?

Certainly a good education is important to gaining happiness and confidence. The question is, does a good education require hours of homework each night. Or is a better education achieved when a child loves to learn?

A child who loves to learn has spent the better part of his early childhood learning through plenty of self-directed play and who enjoys school—where the school and the child fit. Our current public school system seems to be undermining this process. Competition in the science and math world has trickled down to “No Child Left Behind” requiring standardized testing, grading school performance, and competition for federal dollars. Many teachers’ hands are tied by administrators focused on the success of the school. Teachers are under pressure to teach a curriculum that requires more hours in the day than they have.

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