Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raising Little Helpers

I have been trying to have my kids help me lately around the house.  I naturally don't LOVE to clean, but I do love a clean house.  It is a constant struggle for me, laundry, mopping, dishes, bathrooms, dusting, clutter in general, those seem to be the hard things for me.  I could cook all day, and never clean and would be totally happy.  I have often thought I should barter with someone who likes to clean (and I know there are people out there who do!   My mother in law cleans for a living and truly enjoys to clean.)  My thoughts are, I can cook 2 dinners a week for a family if they want to come clean my house once a week, I would even take twice a month.  Of course then my friend would be cleaning up my mess- AWKWARD!  Ha Ha!

Anyways, some things that have been on my mind lately are making my kids feel like they are important, wanted and NEEDED.  In the past I have tried to get my kids busy doing something and I try to get as much cleaned as possible while they are distracted (or when they are sleeping at nap time).  When they are awake I hardly get any time to do this, because they are always wanting to be with me.  After listening to friends and family talk about having their kids help in the clean up process I have been inspired!  Kids seem to naturally want to help.  My baby, Emma is a little young, but I have noticed if I give her a wipe she does seem to try to clean things (maybe she will be one of those who enjoys cleaning).  Drew, my 3 1/2 year old is old enough to help and usually jumps at the chance.  Now, I can't get things done as quickly when they're helping, but if I don't take the time to teach them, how are they going to learn?

Today I sat him down and was honest with him.  I told him that I love when the house is clean and that I have a hard time keeping it nice all by myself.  I explained that it would help me soooo much if he could clean with me.  He was very excited to be needed, it was cute!  He helped me mop yesterday (we had to take turns of course with the cool steam mop) and today he cleaned windows with his baby sis.  Did he do a good job?  Not really.  Did I tell him that?  Absolutely not!  In the future I will point out and instruct him how to do better, but right now I just want him to get that he is a part of making this house a home, he is wanted here and he is invaluable to me.  While mopping yesterday he said, "Mom, can we play cars?"  I said "We will in just a minute, but right now I really need your help to finish fast."  Racing always goes over well in our house and it was just the motivation he needed to finish up.  Once we were done, playing resumed as usual.

I just thought I would share the importance of making our kids realize how special they are to our family and how much we need their help.  I want to instill in my kids that God has a purpose for their life at an early age.  Children are a blessing from the Lord.  He gave them to us to BLESS US!  I have always thought of this as in, their cute stories, their sweet love, how they make us laugh ( and what a blessing these things are!) but recently I have been feeling like they can also be a blessing to our family by assisting in the responsibility of running a household.

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