Tuesday, October 30

Life skills

A life time ago, before I had children and therefore all the opinions in the world, I believed that education was the most important thing to give children (after love of course).

Now I believe it's freedom and safety to play and explore their world, and also life skills through imitation.

In the early years, these include, cooking, basic cleaning, self-hygiene, tidying up.

We don't do 'chores' we simply keep our home clean and tidy. She will never receive money for helping keep her home in nice order. We all live here, we all help. It becomes a seamless part of daily life.



Last week she begun washing the cutlery after I've done everything else. Then I've added small bowls (which I give a quick scrub if food has dried on). She definitely washes what she uses. We would have begun earlier, but living at the grandparents' meant chemical-ridden washing-up liquid. Now it's Ecover and little hands can enjoy the suds.

Water play is big on her lists of loves, so it's work + play! And the 10mins she's in there gives mama some online time. And if she's feeling reluctant, a little transitional washing-up/tidy song, or some silliness and play, gets her re-motivated.

In our daily rhythm, washing-up happens after morning snack (around 10amish).

10 comments:

  1. I agree.
    Anne Lamott once wrote about how she felt so lost as a child (and later as an adult) because she was never given direction or "jobs" around the house. Helping out gives children a sense of being part of a whole entity, beyond a sense of responsibility... Togetherness, and what it can do, in the face of so much earthly (contrived) separation....
    XO

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  2. Thanks for this post Mon. My knee-jerk reaction is to 'always do for him'. I have tried to pull back and try to give him more responsibility such as setting the table for dinner, making his bed, etc. This post and the bread-making one are great reminders of additional activities. I also like your philosophy of 'not paying them to do chores'. Any more suggestions on day-to-day activities we tend to 'do for them' that could/should be done by them?

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    1. I'll see what I can come up with... :)

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    2. This baby-ing Mama would appreciate it :-)

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  3. Good point and great pictures!
    Thanks for the visit over at recycelingmama the other day.
    K

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  4. I really like this Monica, especially what you said about education. When Bella broke up for the six week summer holidays, the teachers said we must keep up with phonics and high frequency words otherwise they forget everything they've learnt. But we didn't. Instead we saw friends and family, gardened, visited farms, cooked, baked, sewed, crafted, travelled and played. Emphasis on PLAY! And some tv too, I'm not precious about tv. And I think she learnt more.

    I will introduce washing up play into our day - i think both mine will love it.

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    Replies
    1. good grief, do they never when children to just be children!? good on you for not falling into the panic trap. lucky girl to have you as a mama.

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  5. A lovely post. I totally agree with you on not paying them to do chores, what we do at home is daily living, it must be done and it is part of life. My little man loves to vacuum, bake, dry the dishes and sort the socks. For him this is just part of his day and we both enjoy the time together. And it makes those daily tasks so much more fun for me :)

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    Replies
    1. I think many parents would be surprised to hear that children ENJOY these tasks.

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