As promised in yesterday’s teaser, tips for getting the kids to do more, so you can find me-time, quiet time, family fun time.
PARENTS AND THE NEVER ENDING TO DO LISTS
The younger your children, the harder the 24/7 day job called parenting. No getting around that. Which is why the mantra “Now is not forever” remains one of my favorite; it was with delight I heard my youngest son remind me of that fact. He and his wife are struggling with one child being potty trained and the other starting early into the terrible twos.
Lucky the parent who has plenty of support and hands-on help. Stressed and over-whelmed are those going it alone or with just the other parent’s help. Add the fact that many are also working at formal jobs or going to school or doing both and I for one want to scream “Too much.”
When not screaming or pulling my thinning hair, I stand in awe of today’s parents.
PARENT ADVICE ABOUT THE NEVER ENDING TO DO LIST
Delegate, delegate, delegate and to your kids. Even the one just starting to walk.
To delegate you have to let go of trying to keep your kids happy. Happiness is a by-product of feeling useful and competent. Your most important role as a parent is to help your kids feel of value and that rests on feeling loved, but also on being productive. In our happiness first culture we expect too little of our young.
parenting tips for getting kids to work
Tip one: Know what kids can do. This is my favorite age and stage chore list. It starts at nine months and goes right on up to the teen years. Homeschool Your Boys. The younger the child, the more he or she wants to help and the easier to instill good habits.
Tip two: Whatever your child’s age, it is not too late to delegate. Start this week by hold a family meeting to start individual to do lists.
Don’t hold family meetings? And important tool. So here is a commercial. Invest in my book How To Hold Successful Family Meetings. It costs less than a Starbucks Latte and the good lasts longer.
Tip three: Reward and punish. Punishment is not a dirty word, but rewards should exceed punishments by at least a ratio of five to one.
Praise works well as a reward for the first few years. A frown or no praise is sufficient punishment until the child is three. Then a simple star chart attached to daily rewards depending on the number of stars. Some families use a penny in a jar for every completed chore.
By the time school starts, behavior charts tied to allowance and privilege work best right on up through the teen years. Always give a “Love” allowance, and allow a bonus allowance when all chores for the week have been completed.
When a child enters his or her teens, talk about your responsibility to fit him or her for the real world; that means earning his or her way.
Tip four: The younger the child, the more leeway for learning. That means aiming for helping you, trying, almost good, and good enough before seeking good.
Tip five: That old refrain: consistency.
Tip six: That other old refrain: modeling. You set the standard.
Delegating is a leadership skill. Parents are leaders. I cull some of my information from the best business leaders. One Minute Manager heads the top of my must read list for parents. It is not available electronically, but the link takes you to those re-selling it. It is also available as an audio book. If you buy only one book to guide you, in addition to mine, make it this one.
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As usual for all you do to support me, thank you.
The first: Although based on what are called evidenced based practices, the is no guarantee my advice is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my tips; if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser.
The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog posts. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments. Life is too short to let problems you can avoid annoy or stress you.