Sometimes parents feel like giving up on getting their children to “pitch in” and help. You feel like more time is wasted following your children around trying to get them to follow through on a small task. It would be quicker and less bother if you just did it yourself. Let’s fast forward for a moment.
Do you want to be living with a 19 year old who cannot put their dishes in a dishwasher, wipe off a counter, or put their clothes away? No, you don't want that! If your children have themselves confused with the family on Downton Abbey and you are the downstairs help, it is not hopeless.
Start small. Get your family accustomed to a task that will be part of a routine. Everyone eats. So, when each person finishes eating they take their dishes with them, to the sink or dishwasher. Delegate someone to put away items such as butter, milk or salad dressing. That could be their job for the week. Every time dishes are used, the user has to put them in the sink or dishwasher. Be vigilant! No one leaves the kitchen if her dirty dishes are not put away.
It takes about three months for an action to become a habit. If your children are older, someone could be assigned to wash the cooking utensils. Someone could set the table, put out napkins etc. These small tasks could be listed on the child’s daily schedule. It also helps get the job done if there is something enjoyable that will follow – maybe game time or time with an electronic device.
Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Mary Ann at .
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