Back to the Kitchen… Kids in Tow

Hi all, it has been an interesting week. With Thanksgiving last weekend and then the dreaded stomach flu going throughout our household I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked to have been on my learning project.  Although I was able to catch up on the daily decluttering challenges, I did not get to implement  the organization solution in our front entryway as planned.

Instead, I got some much needed down time on the couch. For an active busy bee like me, that was hard to do. I did enjoy the extra snuggles with my little ones though! It was at this time I was able to really reflect on their growth since the summer. I think I may be underestimating their potential to contribute to the daily household chores. My daughter, who is 3 1/2, and son, 20 months, have the ability and the desire to help in the kitchen, but as a busy family I do not often give them the opportunity, or independence, to. According to WebMD children as young as two need responsibilities in the household to feel like they are making a contribution.

Upon Reflection…

I remember a learning experience my son and I had a few weeks ago. It was the usual busy weekday morning. Getting the kids ready for daycare/preschool, unloading the dishwasher and loading the washing machine all the while trying to remember where I was supposed to be that day. Clearly, I need to be more organized!

I turn to see my son trying in frustration to wrangle a spatula out of the dishwasher. Cute, he is trying to help, I think. At the time, I remember being frustrated. We didn’t have time for him to play in the dishwasher. I instinctively reached out to free the utensil for him, but something stopped me. “Wait… ” I say. “Slow down city slicker. You got this.” I grab my phone to document his learning…

      

I also learned something very valuable that morning. By simply engaging with him in a simple household chore, he was working on his problem-solving and fine motor skills and his success brought him joy! I still try and encourage his growth, but I believe consistency will be key going forward.

I had seen some great tips on Do it on a Dime’s YouTube channel that I want to implement in our kitchen to help continue my children’s contribution and learning experience.

I have moved the children’s dishes down to their level and will start the routine of getting them to set their own place at the table and put their clean dishes away. I also gave my daughter the task of feeding the cat earlier this week (only because the smell of it made me very queasy!) and she has been asking to feed the cat almost everyday since. That is going on the chore list for sure!

My family and I got back on the healthy train this weekend, so I am looking forward to a happy and healthy upcoming week!

Goals for this coming week

  • Continue to follow the declutter challenge with Clutterbug
  • Share my daily progress on Clutterbug’s Facebook page
  • Continue to identify areas that would benefit from organizational systems
  • Implement organizational systems – Front Entryway bench, overhead shelf, and coat hanger
  • Continue to identify ways in which my little people can help

Thank you for respectfully sharing in my journey!

The link to comment is below the title of this post. 

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6 thoughts on “Back to the Kitchen… Kids in Tow

  1. Way to tackle this challenging task. As a mother of 3 boys ages 6, 7 and 10 I feel your pain. I too, have my kids doing chores, setting the table, emptying and loading the dishwasher, putting their own laundry away and various other tasks. I started very young….and boy was it a challenge. Some days you will want to just do it for them because it takes them so long….because you are running out of time… but don’t give in to that. That is not the solution! Stick to it, because the rewards are so fabulous. Continuing this, is now making life easier, and gosh darn it, I am going to raise responsible men, who are neat, and are very involved in the household tasks.
    Good luck momma!! I am excited to follow. 🙂

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    • I can relate to both of you! My kids are also reaching an age where they are becoming a little independent and want to “help” more. It takes patience to let them help, but I know that I want to encourage that because I want them to be good helpers as they get older. I connected to you talking about emptying your dishwasher haha. I am what my friends would call an “OCD neat freak!” and many of my friends ask “How do you do it?” One of my first suggestions to others is an empty dishwasher. I find that if my dishwasher is always empty that my house stays cleaner. If dishes pile up in my kitchen it seems to disorganize everything. I always empty the dishwasher every morning so the dishes can be put away all day and run it every single night! I am enjoying following your journey!!

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  2. Thank you for your comments. This morning was a huge success! I showed the kids where there dishes were stored and asked them to get their bowls for cereal. They were so excited! My little guy happily followed along with his older sister. I asked my daughter if the cat needed breakfast and she jumped at the opportunity to put the kibble in the cat dish… and the floor, which she then proceeded to get the broom. It was so cute. I was first inclined to grab my phone to document it all, but I wanted to be present in that moment. I don’t expect all mornings to be like this, but I plan to continue encouraging their independence! 🙂

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  3. That’s great! I needed this reminder to slow down and include my kids, it will benefit everyone in the long run. It’s funny how we get caught up in the daily grind. Even while reading this I thought, wow she must be busy. Then it dawned on me that my kids are almost the same ages: 3.5 years and 18 months. We haven’t encouraged them to use the dishwasher and usually send them away while we unload, maybe I better include them in this too. I know they would love it!

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  4. This is so great! Such great tips for involving my little man in the daily chores while increasing his autonomy. Thank you Coralee! I also love the quote, “Currently holding it together by one bobby pin”…I can totally relate to this some days! Keep up the great work.

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  5. Pingback: Journey to Home Organization: Learning Summary | Coralee Czinkota

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