Engaging kids differently : Recreate the Magic!
I’ve often seen that mothers and granny’s in the house refrain from engaging kids in any sort of household work. For them, Oh, they are small kids, boys, future generation, why do they need to work or do small things? There are maids in the house & for the worst we the “elders” to cover up the work. Let them just play or eat or sleep now.. So Mommies, isn’t that a real truth?
And why to blame young moms? This has been the “Tradition in India”, more so wrt “Boys”. They come to this world just to have a gala time and become the bread earner of the family. All relaxations are in their pockets whereas a girl is understood to cover up all the tasks for men of the house ( be it “NO Relaxation” for her). This decrepit tradition is slowly weaning off the young minds but not at all for the elders in homes.
I have very strong memories when I grew up & it was in an all together different environment. Since I was a kid, I always saw my Dad and Uncle helping out females of the house in their chores. Be it mopping the floor or even readying the dishes.. Those were the days when “Maid culture” was not so rampant and owing a house and family was a joint responsibility. But for me that was just a “Rare sight” and only in my house.. I rather saw completely different picture outside, in my surroundings wherein “family men” were ought to just sit, relax & complete their office/business work.
These differences poked me in and out since I was young & they became more strong post marriage.
I looked at both the genders in a balanced manner, if female works out, it is responsibility of men to help her out in household tasks. But the dilemma of most of the mom’s of my era is “What to do now, men don’t even know how to hold a broom..They don’t even know how to “Switch On” the Gas, forget making a veggie or even Tea”. And that’s where I want to focus to help our future women not have the same feeling and lead a life with “Mutual Support” in each and every task they undertake as a family.
So the first step goes is – “DON’T REFRAIN YOUNG KIDS FROM HELPING IN HOUSEHOLD TASKS”. Someone has to begin the change, Let’s begin from our family, from our kids!
Interested to read “Introducing drawing to toddlers“?
Get a Logical side of it! Engaging kids differently!
I’ve seen so many mums asking how to engage a baby ? We’ll there are numerous options lying right below to engage and get the work done.
Have peas in fridge to be cleaned off?
Lot’s of coriander for chutney, plucking good leaves is a task?
Pulling out pomegranate or cleaning oranges for juice seems tedious?
Wan’t help in getting chapati’s made?
Utensils placed on the table to be kept in sink?
Want help in mopping the floors?
Toys messed up all in the room shouting for maid to be cleaned up?
Clothes demanding a proper folding?
Bedsheets awaiting to get spread?
Ample task and all of this has to be completed.. Why not opt for some “Help”, yes engaging kids of the house? Your kid will really not mind doing all the chores for you and that too in fun. He/She will love helping you out in all the assignments (unless it has been recorded in his brain that these are not meant for him).
You know all the more why it is a must? The science behind this is very simple, Enhanced Motor, Cognitive and Emotional Development.
Let’s just take an example of cleaning the floor:
Motor Development :
Holding the broom and cleaning the floor involves hand, finger, wrist muscles to work and develop in co-ordination. It enhances the motor development of a growing kid. He learns to hold things in a right manner & will give an edge while he writes or scribbles.
Emotional & Social Development :
It gives your child a sense that he is responsible for cleaning the place (not complete house but yes his small room or area). Cleaning the house is not just a mother’s or a maids job. It has to be a group initiative and that builds an emotional development. Engaging kids will make them aware of hygiene and cleanliness. He needs to be aware that if his room is messed up with toys, it is not standalone maid’s responsibility to put back all toys in the basket. It has to be a cumulative effort and his involvement is a must to clean up the room. This will help develop his social skills and a feeling of respect for every human; irrespective of caste, creed and race.
Cognitive Development :
Yes that’s how they learn to organise things. Why do you wish to put your kids plate in sink yourself? Or why not let kid help you in folding his clothes? Or when back home from out why do you have to ask maid to keep his shoes and socks in place? A 2year old can easily start doing that. It helps them develop basic mannerisms of organising things. It makes them aware of the effort that goes into formulating things and they learn to respect that. Provoke kids to start doing things themselves. NO work is small or big, it is all we are doing for us & our environment. Engaging kids in every small deed gives them an important lesson of life to inculcate in them.
Let them serve their food in plate themselves. A 2.5year old can very easily try doing that.This again develops their fine motor muscles and along with that make them aware to take only the quantity they want to eat. This is the age when they must know the importance of food and why it should not be wasted. Let them take and finish what they have in plates. If something falls, try explaining your kid the process..once , twice, gradually you’ll see that the grip to hold spoon & plate has got improved. And all the more, they respect food!
Improving General Knowledge:
Why refrain them from pulling out the rind of a pomegranate? Don’t think of kids getting dirty, hands can be washed anytime. Let them make an effort to pull out the juicy aril. You can make them learn different parts of the fruit; Why do we remove the rind; the colors..the use and what not!
Their is so much to engage & the work also gets completed. And believe me, kids love doing all this. It actually is a win-win situation.
Just make these small sessions interactive and full of fun. They will not just help in various developmental phases but also help in enhancing kids General Knowledge & awareness.
My recent encounter with “Making Chapati” by my 2.5year old boy went head scratching for elders of family. I was pleased to see that my kid could make a perfect round chapati from the scratch. Reason? Observing and practising improved his gross skills. I was more happy with the fact that his cognitive skills were developing fast.. He wanted to help me out..His emotional skills were developing!
His growing brain and developing hand muscles and eyes worked in coordination. There is no harm in giving the dough to the kid..When they see their mums cooking, they automatically feel the urge to try the same themselves. Don’t STOP them, rather promote it. Give them a small rolling pin and little dough to make a chapati for their “Piggie” or “Pooh”. You’ll be amazed to see their enthusiasm and yes if the kids enjoys the sessions, you never know when your kitchen will be overtaken by the “Little Master Chef” 🙂
One fine day we just made alphabets out of the dough and he was so excited to know the new use of dough;)
Let’s Conclude Engaging Kids differently:
Let kids learn everything positive they see in house. Recreate the magic for them. Don’t ever say “This task is not for you, maid is there to do it”. You are indirectly sowing the seeds of bias-ness and promoting the “Ego development” in a very young kid who is full of innocence and love for all. You are also interfering with the social and motor development unknowingly. Off course, safety has to be of prime importance. Refrain from making them work with “electrical appliances” or “closer to gas” since they can harm them easily. Opt for those small tasks which are safe, secure. Do make the most of those time by engaging with the kid, try making some art with things you can (As a beautiful flower with Grapes)
While they help you out, make them aware of :
Utility of the activity
Colours and Shapes
Ownership & Responsibility
So isn’t that a good idea to instil all round development of a kid? You are in the making of an independent man/woman. Be assured of it & have that proud for yourself:). They (or their partners) will thank you later on for your positive upbringing!
Rejoice Positive Parenting!