Growing up it was my job to do the dishes. My mom would come in and inspect the ones in the drainer after I was done washing. If they were dirty she would put them back in the sink and I would have to wash them again. It didn’t take long for me to learn that if I wanted to get this job done I must do the job well.
I will admit there were times that I was not very happy about this lesson and would let my mother know. She never let my attitude stop her from teaching me a valuable lesson and would say “anything worth doing is worth doing right”
Fast forward many years later and here I am parenting my children. Her words of wisdom still ring in my ears. You better believe that my dishes are clean each time I finish a sink load. Her lesson taught me much more than how to wash dishes. Her wisdom taught me how to teach my children to do a job well.
When we take the time to teach our children to do a job well we are teaching them about responsibility and how to be a productive member in society when they are grown. It is our job as their parents to ensure that they are able to start and finish a job.
Praise the effort
It is important that you make sure that you are praising the effort that your child is putting forth when working on a task you have laid in front of them. Encourage them to keep on going even if they have had a slip up. Show them the positives that they have done before pointing out the flaws. This shows them that you are seeing the value in their hard work, you are not just seeing their mistakes.
Take time to teach
Do not expect your child to automatically know how to clean around the house, do multiplication, or sweep a floor. When you assign a task to your child make sure that you are taking the time to teach them how to do it properly – before turning them loose with it. Show them how you do it and allow grace for them to form their own ways. If you never show them to sweep in the corner by the door they may not even realize it needs to be done. Lead by example.
Don’t look for perfection
You are raising children not robots. Expect that when they are doing a job they will make mistakes or *gasp* do it differently from you. Does it matter how the floor is swept so long as it is done? If it is done lazily have them do it over. Do not allow them to cut corners. Just because you do not expect perfection does not mean that you do not want it done correctly.
“Two hands make light the load” and this is true when when teaching your children how to do a job well. When you join them in their task you are helping pick up some slack. You are showing them that you are aware of the weight of the job and that you don’t mind to help when they need it. Spend the time at the sink of dishes talking about what they want to do in the evening. Ask about their friends. Take this time to bond with them while working to get the job done.
Criticism is never fun. I know I do not like it when people pick my work apart. Make sure that when you are criticising their efforts that you remember they are children and will mess up! It is your job to see to it that they have the knowledge to get the job done correctly, however it is their job to follow through.
It may take washing the same spoon 4 times in one washing before they get the lesson. It may take 40. The important part is that you be consistent and that you teach them what it means to do a job well.
Good luck! I am teaching right beside you. We can do this!
Here is some encouragement to help you get your home clean and organized.
- 4 Ways to Motivate Your Children to Help You Clean
- Surviving Housework with Kids
- How to Keep Your Homeschool Table Clutter Free
- Teach Your Children to be Helpful
- Teach Your Children to do a Job Well
- To the Mom Who is Doing it All Wrong
- Confessions of a Stinky House