As we head into our Rockin’ our Responsibilities focus for February I wanted to give you a few resources. Recently our staff had an in-service about giving kids responsibilities and how to encourage them. We watched a video that explains the benefits of jobs and duties for young children You can watch that by clicking on the words below.
I also created a list of videos and books that would be great to share with children as you focus on this aspect with kids.
Being Responsible by Cassie Mayer
How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? By Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
Good Think You’re Not an Octopus by Julie Markes
Just a Mess by Mercer Mayer
All by Myself by Mercer Mayer
Cami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff by Stacy C. Bauer
Joey Runs away (click for the link) Watch a kangaroo that runs away to avoid cleaning his room. There are some pretty comical pictures as you see his room inside his mom’s pouch.
The Little Red Hen (click for the link) Enjoy the traditional story of a hen and all her friends that don’t want to help her with the work of making bread.
A German Shepherd helps with chores around the house (click for link) I’d watch this with the sound off and just enjoy how clever this dog is doing some pretty amazing jobs around the house.
When giving chores it is important to think ahead about what YOU will be able to follow through with. As with everything with kids, consistency will help this go much more smoothly. Children will not complete chores to your quality level but that doesn’t lessen the importance of giving them. Once you carefully explain how a job is done you can let your child give it a try. I would offer support as children work – but not too much. Think about having a boss that oversees every aspect of the job you are doing. You wouldn’t feel like they think you are capable and that would not build your confidence or motivate you to work hard. Kids actually can feel that same way. So I would encourage them, hold them to a developmentally appropriate standard, but let them have some autonomy.
How to encourage:
As with all areas, encouraging the actual work the child is doing is the most effective. Rather than “Great job”, you could say, “It really helps the family when you . . .” “You are working hard at . . .” “I think you are learning more about doing . . ., you didn’t need my help with any of it.” When we focus on what the child is doing rather than generalizing about the child’s character it is most effective. This way the child more easily internalizes the idea of hard work, doing his or her best, etc. On the other hand, when a child is struggling with a task they don’t see their whole value placed on the job they are doing. I would say something like, “I know you don’t want to take time out to do . . . but we all have jobs when we are part of the family.” “Bummer, I know you don’t want to do this right now but it’s your job and I know you can do it.” “I am cleaning up after dinner. It’s time for you to do your job of cleaning the table.”
The Blog post title mentions something about my dog:
Once I decided to use the flipping puppy as a “hurrah” in our classrooms for a job well-done, I also decided to use a dog theme to bring this focus together.
Many of you may remember my dog, Rudy, has visited school a few times. He is a sweetheart that loves people. I was trying to think of a way to make doing job “more exciting.” While Rudy’s primary jobs are to:
Make everyone in the family feel loved
Play with the grandkids
Play and snuggle
And make us laugh
And he is good at all of those things.
He is also good at posing for photos.
And we have fun having Rudy hide in photos – can you find him?
So, I decided he could be a model for the photos for our chore chart. You can click on the links below the photos to access the file if you would like to print these for use at home.
My thought was you could cut out the photos of jobs you will have your children do and then paste them into the day you would want that done. We are sending home a paw print stamper that you can then have your child stamp onto the photo once they have completed the task. Hopefully doing this is another motivator for getting a job done.
In another blog post I will share many other links to sites that have chore charts and other good resources for helping children learn to be responsible.