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Monday, November 28, 2011

Teaching the kids important life skills

For once, I am being totally proactive and hands-on in fostering and encouraging a play activity for my kids that doesn’t involve the television.

I say hands-on, in a totally hands-off kind of way.

The feral threesome have developed a love of….wait for it…..CLEANING.
Word, Leonard. I'm also quite excited by this new development.


It started with the broom.  They would fight over who got to use it, and not just to whack each other.

Each child would take turns sweeping the patio, pretty much just moving the fleeing sand-pit sand into another pile, but still, they were trying.

And so I started coaching them on how to correctly sweep up the sand.  In the interest of teaching them valuable life skills.

Then I got them little mini-broom’s.  One each.  So they could do the entire patio together.  Teaching valuable life skills and fostering quality time with your siblings.

Where's my Nobel Prize for parenting?

Ooooh I hope there's a Sham-Wow in one of these!
 
Following this success, Mstr2 started to show an interest in the vacuum.  Not Miss2, she’s deathly scared of it.  But that’s okay, because I only have one vacuum, and I don’t think they make actual working mini-vacuum’s for me to get them one each.  Although, there's always the Dust Buster....stay tuned.

So after  #1Hubby vacuum’s, we let Mstr2 have a go.  He’s still a ways off going solo, but he does a mean job on the front door mat.  I’m predicting big things from him in the next 6 months, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s worked his way up to the entire living room rug by next Easter.  Fingers crossed.

Miss2 is all about the cloth.  She loves it, and thankfully, she doesn’t want to eat it – unlike every other item not nailed down.  So we got her a cloth of her own, and off she went to clean the tables with a spray bottle filled with water.  Job done.  Next up, I’m going to get her started on the skirting boards.

Miss6 only wants to mop and clean the bathrooms.  Not the toilets though, she doesn’t like those.  And that’s okay, because I figure I should at least take charge of one area of household cleaning and keep it as my own.  Especially since the twins are regularly tossing stuff in there to see if it will float, and then fishing it out to continue playing with it and/or sucking on it.  So it’s probably for the best that I control the toilet cleaning and keep the loo’s as germ-free as possible.

You missed a spot, my little darlings

I have even broached the subject of doing away with our ceramic crockery, and instead buying a set of Melamine dinnerware.  That way, we could totally get the kids into doing the dishes without worrying about anything being broken or dangerous – because I’m all about child safety when putting my kids to work doing the domestic duties that I should be doing myself.

The only flaw in this plan is that they may peak too young – I don’t want to wear them out when they’re only capable of 10 minutes a day.  Much better to save the bulk of the work for when they’re teenagers with more strength and stamina, right?


16 comments:

  1. Excellent.
    Talk about positive parenting.
    My Magoo loves a bit of cleaning action himself.
    I imply that is a very special privilege to use the mini vac or the broom.
    He is a bit of a paper towel fiend though - so he has to be watched - over the top of the magazine.
    :-)

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  2. Excellent work! I hadn't thought of the skirting boards, so that's a great tip. I'm glad to see I'm not the only parent who purchased the mini brooms to teach valuable life skills. We have to start somewhere. Life's dirty and someone has to clean it up.

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  3. My kids do the drying and putting away and setting the table.... its good for them and ace for me!!...downside, the plate cupboard is looking a little lean and good news, my mosaic ceramic pile is growing!   

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  4. Seagull loves to help vaccuum. To the point where he throws a massive hissy fit if you won't let him vaccuum while you are doing it yourself. At the moment, we live in a house with a ducted vaccuum cleaner, so we give Seagull the hose and nozzle attachment from our pre-"this house" days. We're screwed once we move in a couple of weeks though.

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  5. I found Frog playing "cleaning my room" today - i encouraged this as valuable learning and instructional playtime and totally took the credit for being an awesome role model. 

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  6. Can't wait to teach my son to clean, jsut so I can get out of doing it :-)

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  7. Don't wait! Teenagers have no stamina! They only know how to sleep, hold the fridge door open waiting for a meal to fall out and spend their parents money like water through a sieve. (Slave driving) training from a young age sound good to  me (in hind sight).

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  8. Hi,I have a TUT -tidy up time with my daughter every night where I clean up the mess of my room while she arranges hers.we inspect each others work and she is excited to clean up everyday

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  9. Paper towel disappears in this house too.  Then the napkins.  Finally the tissues.  Last resort, the toilet paper.  What is it with kids and disposable paper goods?!

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  10. Word. And if you have any child-friendly cleaning options that I am yet to expose the offspring to, do tell!

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  11. Bahaha, love it!  Your ceramic pile!  I once made a ceramic table top.  Took forever.  Don't think my MIL appreciated the NINE MONTHS of effort on that table.  Maybe you could do a work in progress with your ever increasing pile? Heh

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  12. Haha, you'll have to get him a mini dust buster then.  Which can only be a good thing for his long term development/cleaning skills, right?

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  13. The key is to sigh, frown, make like you're thinking about it, then say "Oh okay...if you must...{insert another sigh}...."  That way they think they're getting away with something.  If you get all excited and smile and immediately say "go ahead!" they cotton on to it being something you're totally jazzed about, and therefore possibly not as fun for them as it seemed to be 5 minutes ago.

    Regardless, you are a stellar role model.  Well done. Excellent parenting.

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  14. I will do up an eBook for you, for when the time comes.  Step by step instructions on how to encourage it without actually encouraging it

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  15. Right, you've spurred me into action.  Will work them hard now, before they turn into sullen and disagreeable teenagers!  Maybe I can offer a "work for food" scheme, kind of like the "work for the dole" scheme?  What's that teenagers?  You want dinner?  No problem, I'd love to provide you with vital susentance and nutrition...right after you vacuum and mop, ok?

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  16. That's a genius idea.  Making it fun and competition.  I may swap rooms with Miss6 though, because by sheer logistics mine is bigger and harder to clean.

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