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Creative Ways to Involve Kids with You!

12th May 2023

"Mumma you are always doing some or the other chore. After the dishes are done you will play with me, right?", asked my son on the third day of his summer vacation! I felt helpless for a few moments, but then I asked, "Will you help me?"
"Me? I don't know any of your chores. And if I mistake you will shout at me." he replied. "Ok, there is something that I know you will be able to do properly, without any mistakes. Go to the balcony and remove the clothes that I washed and dried in the morning." I advised him.
He returned after 2-3 minutes, "That is done, can we now go for cycling?", he asked. I replied, "Yes, let us lock the house and leave."

90% of women opt to take a career break after embracing motherhood. I am one of them as well. Even if the major reason for a career break is to take care of our babies, it does not mean we keep spoon-feeding them for years to come. We should start making them independent and teach them basic skills at an early age.
Parents these days seek toys and games to improve kid’s hand and eye coordination, is there anything better than our domestic chores that would induce this skill in them? Sorting and arranging fresh veggies bought from the market helps them understand the difference between 2 veggies for real! Seeing pictures in books and touching and feeling them are two different things.

Most parents do not find time to spend with their kids. Either they are working or they get too involved in domestic chores that they find time to spend with kids. In the case of working parents, involving kids can be beneficial in two ways:

1) They get to spend time with kids. Working with kids in the kitchen is no less than an experiment! While doing chores with them, the curiosity in them gets a new direction. The conversation happening while doing chores lets us know their line of thoughts.
2) A kid becoming independent at an early age is half the worry! If you are stuck in the office and it rains heavily, they will be smart enough to remove clothes from the balcony to save them from wetting. If there is some important project and your meetings are extended, they will be able to do basic cooking to feed themselves! Although it may be as simple as cooking a packet of instant noodles they won’t be starving. For non-working parents/moms like me, we both (me and my son!) complete the chores together, and then his playtime with me increases.

Doing one task successfully, all by themselves, gives them confidence, and a sense of achievement! To top it if they get appreciation after doing something, they also feel special and valued. Usually, when we go to the local grocery store, I let him buy stuff and do cash transactions. He meanwhile keeps doing his math of adding the total of stuff bought and subtracting it from the total money he has in hand! I keep a watch to see if it’s being done correctly. These are small things and no institution or book will teach them. And hence it is our responsibility to make them ready.

During Covid times, when everyone was home, there was no domestic help, I am sure at the end of the day each one of us would be tired. If kids turn up to help without asking for it, there is nothing like it. It shows they are helpful, they value what we do for them, and hence they also wish to contribute their little share in whatever we do! This behavior does not come up in one day. It only comes with practice.
With this article, I only intend to make parents aware of the fact that they can start involving their kids more in domestic chores and other daily activities. You should also be a part of theirs. Play with them, plan, and have board game family nights. We usually make their lives ours, but once they enter their teens they start feeling it as interference. But if you make them realize that they are a part of your lives too, and you can strike the balance then it will be a very healthy way of parenting!

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