How to get a child well rounded and healthy child and some chores done.
What in the world is this boy doing with two plastic stools getting up on a table?
Do what you do not want to do.
Go ahead and just do it. Do the things you want to avoid doing. And do them with your child. Most parents would be surprised I think if they sat down and wrote out a list of things they just would rather not do. Pretty easy with some of them. And keep in mind if you really do not like to do it, chances are very good that you do not do it well.
Try a few of these out for size: Shopping, exercise, Laundry, deep cleaning of bathtub, toilet and stove and refrigerator.
Now do you really like to wash and vacuum your car? I bet you love to wash windows and dust. How about those handwritten thank you cards that you have not put off one bit. And of course our list can go on and on.
So let us change what is a drag and a bummer into "quality time". I know that we hate that term but let us hate it together. In fact hating that term is a good place to start.
Ah yes, "Quality Time" with our children.
That term just reeks of new age psychobabble 101 yuk! On the other hand it is a really good term if we really look at it. I suppose for pop culture Yuppie type 6 figure income homes with one stay at home mom in suburbia it means activities. Yes you read that right. It would seem that people associate that term with doing stuff like going to a beach or park or dance or piano practice at home. And so many still equate it with traditional sit down family dinners. And for sure stuff like reading to each other or learning a game together fits in there.
Well hogwash. Quality time should not be about the activity per se. It should be about the time. (nice how that word time is part of the phrase ;-)
Now actually write down that list of things to be put off. Feel free to use my suggestions to get started as we will use them here. Now write down ten things and we will be back after this cool video.
I just love this Vivaldi and how fun with pictures.
Now let us make Quality Time out of that list.
I am sorry to tell you this but that list is a gold mine of quality time that really counts. It is super cool stuff for a youngster. (please use common sense with things like heat and chemicals and do not damage your child -- I just hate that)
Now that bathtub is a disgusting build up of soap scum. And that 4 year old just loves to splash and make a mess in the bathroom. Hmmm? What was that about quality time? Hmmmm what was that about what I do not want to do?
Alright then it is time for a bathtub scum destroying party. Get ready to get wet. And get ready to sweat because toys are allowed, music is allowed and for sure splashing is allowed. Get organic cleaners and replace the chemicals therein with elbow grease. And don't get all OCD on us about how clean it actually gets. Try to establish a balance there, so that pride and accomplishment is reached yet the real goal was the quality time you just spent with your child.
Really dirty windows are a treasure trove because we can see our accomplishment immediately.
Folding laundry is awesome hand eye coordination and wow it is interesting to hear what they like and do not like in clothes, and if you are lucky -- why.
And that list goes on. And all manner of chores can be done this way.
Do you engage your child in tasks
Can you remember the last chore you actually did with a child?
The "ME" time
I require my youngest to play for one hour a day ---- alone. Of course I do not reach this goal except maybe 4 days a week on a good mellow week. But we shoot for it everyday. If you do not know why I will suggest the reason.
Imagination, self sufficiency, creativity, freedom, happiness are five things I can think of quickly. As an example a 4 year old should probably be attending some pre-school and learning all about others. Children are stuck with their parents and siblings, like it or not. They need to develop their self by themselves also. The real "who I am".
"Me Time" river and lake and sea monsters and just fishing and getting dirty.
A twenty minute walk a day is critical to good health for adults, it just plain is and for some reason it is tough to do. Children from strollers to bicycles need that walk also. So what are you doing not doing that every day.
Extra bonus: My son and I know most of our neighbors and get cool stuff like cookies and fruit and meet dogs.
Sometimes there must be some attitude adjustments with children.
So we actually can teach children to enjoy play and work just the same and we can teach them that others are fun and so are they all by themselves.
And in the process we can get out of ourselves a little and grow a little and stop putting off what should be done and change that into "quality time".