It’s a task full of so many tedious chores, right from the morning squeals to the evening tantrums, from the rampant invitations to the never-ending phone calls – birthday planning sure is one hoot, but we all wouldn’t give it up for the world. Their tiny footsteps following you around the house as you hang those multi-colored balloons and hear them dance along the ‘Lion King’ for the 100th time. Their chuckles at your mighty fall from the ladder you were standing on, trying to hang a candy-filled piñata. Their adorable little puffed-up cheeks as they ask you if they can have a candy before the party.
Did you know that these times can also be an opportunity to teach them responsibility and grow closer to your children. Yes, you heard us right, you can get your kids as hired help… for free! And many pediatricians would recommend such an early attempt to inculcate effort and hard-work in your tiny counterparts.
Here’s how you get them involved:
1. Try positive reinforcement
Operant conditioning is a widely applied psychological trick, used for mammal training and research… But that shouldn’t stop you from using it to encourage good behavior. A candy for a certain menial task that you ask of them is a fair trade, right? After all, that’s how the world works! Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t be going to your job if you weren’t getting paid. It would also make them more likely to be a help around the house; just make sure to not make the expectation of a reward a habit.
2. Act as a role model
An age-old aspiration of every parent is to be a role-model to their children, and it couldn’t be more helpful here. It’s always encouraging if you’re taught a skill, especially by means of visual learning and repetition. So, show them how a task is done and then ask them to repeat after you. Correct their mistakes with patience and kindness. Trust us, they’d be on their way to become the Master decorators of tomorrow in no time.
3. Give them easy tasks
While seeing growth and maturity in your child is always charming, do make sure that your tasks do not exceed the level of complexity their tiny little heads can cope with. It’s one thing to teach them responsibility and another to make them feel incompetent. You want it to be a challenge they can overcome. Tasks like holding the basket of lace or confetti as you walk around the house putting them up would be perfect.
4. Never let your vision wander
Finally, never let your child work on something that you thought they could handle alone. You don’t want your 10 year old around a hammer he thought would help him finish quicker. Young minds are creative, and that’s wonderful. But it’s also a double-edged sword which just means that if left to wander – they could be up to absolutely anything. And we don’t want that.