Character Training in 4 Easy Steps Using ChoresValerie Mcclintick
Do your kids hide when you mention household chores? Do you hide when you have your own unfinished household chores waiting to be done? It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have so many things on your plate. And it’s even easier to let chores slide when there are seemingly more important things to do. But what if you could combine your regular household chores with those vital teaching moments? Homeschooling affords us that very opportunity. Here are several ways you can include household chores as teaching moments.
1. Planning to Succeed
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Teaching Moment: Making a plan to accomplish household chores provides an easy boundary of expectations.
It’s easier to finish what is planned. Sit down with your children with pen and paper in hand. Make a list of all the household chores and add them to a calendar. Now you have a deadline to finish the chores or a set time to tend to them on a regular basis. Giving your children a concrete visual of the work that needs to be done can help them “see” how it fits into the overall rhythm of the family.
2. Patience in Learning
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” ~ St. Augustine
Teaching Moment: Practice patience with children learning a new skill so they can learn it more quickly.
If you’ve forgotten what it’s like to learn the skill required to do a new chore, try brushing your teeth with your left hand (or non-dominate hand). Try the same thing with writing your name. This is much like a child’s experience when learning something new. When you demonstrate patience towards their learning curve, they can begin to have patience with themselves in the learning process.
3. Diligence in Following Through
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” ~ John Quincy Adams
Teaching Moment: Encouragement to finish the job well teaches diligence.
When the going gets tough, we tend to give up. So, it’s easy to understand our children’s tendency to give in when things are hard. It’s human nature. What can help to overcome this natural impulse so many have? Encouragement. As parents, our words hold power. Our children do want to please us. We can use this power for good through encouragement.
Applying this encouragement to our children’s work efforts can be magical.
When encouragement fails to motivate them to diligence, we can help them see how the finished chore fits into the big picture. For instance, if a child’s chore it to empty the dishwasher, the completion of it provides clean dishes for dinner. This helps the child see the importance of their place and their work within the family. It helps them feel valued and loved.
4. Having a Good Attitude
“With every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” — Mary Poppins
Teaching Moment: Learning to have a positive attitude regarding our responsibilities helps us identify the fun in the work we have to do.
This makes the work easier to finish. Wouldn’t it be great if our kids could do everything with a happy countenance? Mom, this attitude starts with you. Modeling a good attitude while doing necessary tasks is the first step in establishing a good attitude in your children. This teaching moment has an impact far beyond teaching our children to have a good attitude. It will give you peace throughout your day. Why? A habit of a good attitude spills over to our homeschooling efforts, correcting our kids, and every element of our parenting.
There are so many teaching moments that we get to experience as homeschool parents. Using chores provides teaching moments that build character, and this serves our children for a lifetime. It makes our own parenting easier, too!