Thursday, 20 September 2012

dishes done with a dose of cuteness!

Well, we hit a sweet milestone this week in the world of chores. 

I am a big believer in kid's contributing to the family home, learning responsibility and diligence whilst mastering tasks and skills that will be useful for life... otherwise known as 'chores'! But as any Mama can tell you, while we all dream of the day when their help is actually helping, in the little years it sure is a lot of extra time, effort, mess and required patience just to get them started on the sweet path you are hoping for!

I have to admit **I** struggle with this. The kids rise to your level of expectation, but I do find it hard to be consistent - to have regular chores for them that I help them to be accountable for in a regular fashion, making time for them to do it with or be supervised by me. Especially when I find it soooo much easier to just do it myself.... hey, I don't even like Mark in the kitchen when I am cooking, let alone anyone else - such as a flour-scattering-and-eating toddler, haha! So often I catch myself picking up and putting away a toy and in the midst of doing so, I realise -Hey - why am I doing this?! Where on earth is the child who left it conveniently here in the middle of the doorway? How can I expect them to learn to pick up after themselves if I keep doing it for them!? Yes, I as the parent need as much training and patience as the kids - or even more, haha!

But I do try to not take the easy path of just doing it myself and keep my eye on the prize because I am really committed to equipping my children for life - the household getting some assistance is just a sweet bonus! I work towards the goals of instilling characteristics of responsibility, conscientiousness and diligence, aiming to raise hard working, capable children who are aware of what it takes to keep a home running and are willing to pitch in. Slowly and steadily, we are getting there. The kids really do a great job - though we work through phases of them being less than keen - and are so much more capable than I really give them credit for. 

One such moment of seeing how capable they are came when we reached a milestone of realising Lily can now un-stack and then re-stack the entire dishwasher herself!!! And she does so very proudly, cheerfully, thoroughly and capably. Even adorably (without me saying anything) grabbing a tea-towel and drying off any still-damp plastics before putting them away. 

Industriously drying the plastics

I had kind of put aside any thoughts of their contribution actually being truly 'helpful' for a good while yet... focusing rather on consistency and skill-building and patience on my part! So it was a shock to realise I can stand in the kitchen and prepare dinner while my darling just-turned-four year old cheerfully un-stacked and re-stacked the dishwasher. It was so fun being able to just chat and laugh with her while she did it without assistance and to realise suddenly that was a whole task I was also being saved from having to do - score!!!  

She was so impressed with the amount of teaspoons she
decided to count them all!

So proud of my girl and these days am just continually marveling at how grown up she is getting. I'm so thankful for her happy heart and helping hands!


  1. Oh Kate I am so with you on the needing patience to let them help thing. Ruby is sooo keen to do things and help out and I must admit that majority of the time I just do it to save the hassle. Well done you and Lily what an accomplishment. ps I love that she is wearing her ballet shoes!

    1. oh yes, putting away is so much more fun w ballet slippers ;) - and usually tiara and tutu as well!! yes it is patience-testing isnt it!!!! lol i have to pace the chores not just for them but for ME - sometimes i just cant deal w them but just try to include/assign them when it works.

  2. Wow! She's only four! she looks so much older (and is clearly more capable than so many older kids). Funny you should write about this as today I was thinking the same thing. Tobin brought the bin in from the street for the first time, I think partly because he didn't want to carry his bag and partly because he expected a pocket money increase. Then I also explained about how to neatly put away his clothes in his drawers once I've folded them. This will be his job from now on. I think over the holidays we will make a proper chart with jobs around the house that he is responsible for. I will also teach him about the dishwasher. Only problem with that is, most of out things are in overhead cupboards. But he can at least pack it!
    Nice work Kate! Patience and effort pay off in the long run!! x

    1. really, she looks older than 4? I am barely comprehending she is 4 yet, haha!!! - she is tall though. Its funny cos so often I have no idea what the 'norms' are for age groups, and wonder if the things she is doing are way behind or way ahead or on track - usually a mix and I dont really care/compare but funny how things can vary! Thats cool on the bringing the bin in and putting clothes away - yeah its funny how many of those little tasks around the house we dont even notice could be something the kids could be part of - I guess we are just used to doing it!! chart sounds like a great idea. Re dishwasher, yes we are (unintentionally but ive just realised) lucky as 95% of our stuff is stored in drawers down low. only the mugs she cant do so just puts them on the bench. yeah, this milestone was a good reminder (for me!) to press on cos it is worth it in the end... even though i have been FAR from diligent overall w working w them on stuff as much as i could have!

  3. Ummmm...I am so impressed!~ And feeling a little behind. My two are only just starting to learn the value of putting their stuff away. And I mean JUST. So inspired to get more on top of this!

    1. dont worry Hannah, there are a zillion other things I havent gotten around to or even thought of introducing yet!!!! totally overwhelms me when i think of trying to cover EVERTHING! we just do what we can when we can, right? and never too late to jump in when you are all ready too!


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