Tag Archives: parenting

Our Unschooling Week

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I’m going to be completely honest and upfront with the fact that we had a rough week. There was plenty of fun, connecting, and learning moments; There was also lots of tears and fighting. I’m not sure why, but the kids were just out of sync this week. So we had lots of breathing, conflict resolution, and sometimes just some siblings separation.

Monday, we started the day out with breakfast and books. Hailey then watched some PokĂ©mon while Elijah watched YouTube videos with me. The kids played on their tablets a bit. The boys played dress up. 

The kids did their own separate art projects. Hailey made pokeballs and Elijah painted. 

                                      Crafts and chaos 🙂

The kids played outside for a while. Elijah found a praying mantis. The checked him out for a little while.

Tuesday started out with some porch time. Winter played with Playdoh out there. 

The day was spent mostly switching from playing Pokémon, and watching TV. Hailey and I took a wall in the evening.

Wednesday, I asked the kids I’d they wanted to check out a new park. We spent a few hours having fun on the gravity rail, and snacking too. 


Hailey had Kung fu classes that evening. There was tablet time and TV too.

Thursday, Papa caught a cicada for the kids to observe. 


Grandma came over for a visit. The kids love when she comes. They each worked on their own projects for a bit. The boys taped yarn to paper. Hailey wrote cards to each of us. We had fun writing to each other for a few hours. 

Her first notes to me


When Papa got home he had a Pokémon card battle with Hailey. We read books, and played tablets.

Friday, we watched a movie with popcorn during the afternoon. Elijah built with Lego’s for quite a while. Hailey played her DS.

Today we had a big family breakfast. Then we went to watch remote control airplanes fly and do tricks. We finished out afternoon with a quick grocery trip, and then back home to relax. 

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If you don’t stop then you can’t….

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As a child, it was not uncommon to hear some form of “if you don’t stop that you can’t do this”.  It could be “If you don’t stop crying you can’t [insert fun activity]”, or “if you don’t stop aggravating then you will have to sit in time out”, often “If you don’t change your attitude than you can’t go to that place you want to go”. Etc., etc., you get the point.

These threats were often given in angry whispers while in pubic or on the way to our destination. Public “misbehavior” was a big trigger for my mom. There was no thought given to what need may be inspiring the undesired behavior. No connecting grumpiness to hunger or tiredness. No considering that I may be struggling with anxiety about something (I have dealt with this since I was a child), or having some over-stimulation related to sensory issues (something I now know about myself). No thought to what had happened before we left, such as a disappointment or argument with a sibling. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom very much. I know that she was doing the best she could as a young mom. She did what she knew, and I was always loved.

Kids are often held to a higher standard than adults. Not allowed to show too much emotion in public, not given the benefit of the doubt, or some extra grace for an off day. I know that is how I was raised, and sometimes that old tape start playing in my head and I don’t even realize it. Words come out of my mouth, and immediately upon hearing myself say them I know it isn’t right. Those words don’t represent who I want to be as a parent. Instead, they represent things said to me in the past, things I may have internalized.

As I progress on this journey towards gentle parenting, I am getting better at catching myself before I say the words that flash in my head. I used to always say them and then apologize and say what I wanted to say (whether that be right away or after some further reflection). But now, more times than not, I catch myself right as they start to come out and I take a moment to breathe and rethink what I want to say, who I want to be in that moment.

Sometimes, I start to say those old words and by the time my logical brain has caught up with me, I am halfway through a thought and then quickly try to turn that very sentence around into something else. This happened the other day. We were on the way to a local amusement park. The kids were excited to be going again. We purchased season passes and this was our second visit. My oldest was being grumpier than usual though. She kept snapping impatiently, and was feeling sensitive very easily. I knew she was tired, as she woke up early in anticipation, and she fell asleep for the last 20 minutes of the hour drive.

While we were organizing all our stuff, getting our water bottles in the bag, and putting the toddler shoes back on again, she was just really in a tough mood. I could feel my frustration building because I knew this was supposed to be a fun day, and I worked hard to prepare for it. Not only that, it was mine and my husband’s anniversary so in some illogical way I wanted the day to be smooth and lovely. The old tape turned on in my head and I heard myself say “If you can’t calm down and enjoy your day you can sit out while your brothers ride the rides with your Papa.” I knew instantly that this wasn’t a fix, or would it do anything for our relationship, so I got down on my knees to make eye contact and took her hand. “What I mean is, if you are having a tough time that is okay. I know you didn’t get as much sleep as you normally do. You can just take my hand and I will sit with you until you feel calmer. You can ride rides when you are ready, and I will help you until then.” I could almost feel the relieve in her body. Her breathing slowed, and she relaxed into my body for a hug and said, “Okay Mom”.

That wasn’t the end of her rough times. She had skipped most of breakfast and didn’t eat what I packed in the van, so I had to really encourage her to eat something for some energy. Everyone quickly finished their snack but her, she needed some extra time. So, they went to a nearby ride while I sat with her and waited. She nibbled slowly and then when she was ready she told me. Then we enjoyed the rest of our day.

I am not even close to where I want to be as a parent. I am trying and I tell myself that if I do better today than I did yesterday most of the time, then that is progress. Rewiring our brains to a new way of being, a whole new perspective, a new form of communication isn’t easy. But it is worth it, so so worth it. It matters.

The Day After Election Day

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I will be honest and admit this day started off a bit rough for me, at least internally. It was the morning after a rough election night. I am a very sensitive person, I easily feel anxious or worry, and I react strongly to hate. I am not trying to get political, but I will say that I felt quite a shock that it seemed so many in our country are still choosing hate in their attitudes. I truly felt like I was grieving for my idea of what I want our world to be. I knew there were some people who had bigoted views, but I supposed I overestimated the progress that has been made.

Anyway, I was feeling emotional and posting on social media about it. Soaking up my like-minded friend’s feelings added to mine was too much. I felt overwhelmed and recognized that it was not a healthy though path for myself. I knew at that point, I could easily fall into a hole of complaining all day and commiserating with peers. Luckily, a few very loving posts helped me decided to put a stop to it right then. I wrote up a quick thought on my Facebook page and personal wall.

“I’m not going to allow the realization that our country is more racist and bigoted than I thought, to stop me from focusing on my children. I can’t let it distract me from showing them love, because that is how best to shape the next generation. I choose love.

And as my friend said, if you build a wall, I will teach my children how to tear it down.”

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I want to focus on these people

Then I shut it off. I stayed off social media for the rest of my day. I decided that today would be a good day and I would show my babies some extra love and attention. I told my husband my feelings and what I wanted to do and he agreed that would be good for me. I immediately started engaging the kids in a conversation and we laughed and chatted about one silly thing or another from there.

I cleaned up while the kids ate food in the kitchen, us chatting the whole time. Then I asked Hailey if she wanted us to show her how to play some card games. She was super excited to learn. First we showed the kids slapjack. Papa had to help Elijah play, because he couldn’t quite get flipping the cards down, so they became a team. After playing that we played war for a bit. Hailey won that.

I made some popcorn and the kids debated on which movie they should watch. I let them work it out, not by themselves, but I was more a facilitator and a guide. While they watched, I challenged Papa to a card game. We had no played cards just the two of us in a long while. We played a few games of Rummy and it was a lot of fun. I forgot how much I enjoyed playing cards with him.

The kids came in after the movie and asked to play some more. I needed to lay the baby down for a nap, so Papa took over playing Uno with them while I laid him down. I came out while he slept and started dinner. The kids were laughing and super into the game. Papa looked like he was having fun too.

We ate dinner together as a family at the table. We talked about our day, about a game Hailey and Elijah had made up, and about whatever else came up. I cleaned up a bit and the kids asked for ice cream. They are eating that now, loudly talking about something in their game. Soon we will cuddle and read books.

I think I needed this day. I needed to see that I can still chose to love and focus on my children despite my uncertainty of the future. I needed take back my control over my emotions. I know what I stand for and what I want to pass down to my children and I know that I must model it. I can’t promise that each day I will be as successful at pulling myself away from the worry, but I have to try. I must try to not let myself get sucked into the worry, the hateful posts, the arguing. Even when it is hard, I chose love.

 

If she were at school

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The other day we were playing at the park with friends. I had walked away from the playground with the baby for a few minutes, when Hailey came running to find me. She was feeling sad and wanted to tell me what had happened. I was expecting something along the lines of a disagreement with her brother, or a skinned knee. Instead, it ended up being a hurt that included a life lesson.

Before I walked to the other side of the lot with the baby, I had been watching Hailey go down a piece of playground equipment that worked like an elevator. Kids stepped on the platform and held onto the handles and it went down. It went up, only when they stepped off. Another girl and her Mother were watching. The girl expressed her desire to go down it, but stated that she was scared. Her mother tried it to show her how it worked. She was still afraid. Hailey started talking with the girl and found out that she was 9 years old. Hailey showed her how she could go down on it and explained how it worked and how it wasn’t so scary after all. When I walked away, the girl was still very interested, but adamant that this was too frightening to try.

Hailey explained to me “I said something trying to help that girl not feel scared so she could try it. She really wanted to try and was afraid. I was just trying to help but then her Mom told me I was being mean. I wasn’t. I just wanted to help.”

“You look sad. It seems like it really upset you when the Mom said you were mean. Do you want to tell me what you said to her to help her not feel so scared?” At first she didn’t want to tell me. I could tell that she was feeling quite anxious. I bent down and looked her in the eyes, “Hailey, you do not have to tell me what happened if you are not ready. But, I am not mad at you. I hear you say you were trying to do a nice thing and I believe you. I know you were not being mean and I am here to listen if you want to talk about it.”

After a few moments and a big sigh, “Okay, I went down the elevator thing, and then I said I did it and so can you. I am 6 and you are 9, so I know you can do it because you are bigger than me. It can be less scary for you because you are older. Then the Mom said that I was being mean.”

We talked all about it. We talked about how she was trying to encourage another kid and why it might be that what she said was taken the wrong way. We talked about how it feels to have someone misinterpret your words, we talked about good intentions. We talked about fears and how they do not necessarily change with age. She seemed to feel noticeably better after working through it all with me. She happily ran off to play some more.

I felt good about the exchange, but I kept mulling it over. After a few days, I was left with thoughts about how different that could have gone. What if she had been away at school when something similar could have happened? Who would she have talked to? How would she have handled the rest of the day with that weighing on her? Would she have remembered it well enough to bring it up with me when I picked her up? When would be the next opportunity to help her through that life lesson if we had missed that chance?

If she was at school she would not be able to come to me with these grievances throughout the day. They would build up, add up one on top of the other, until she exploded, likely seemingly out of nowhere about nothing in particular, and I would have no idea why. Teachers do not have the time or resources to listen to these issues for each student each time they come up. That is just not possible, even if it were in their job description.

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I wouldn’t be able to walk her through life’s little teachable moments while she was at school. I wouldn’t be able to offer empathy or comfort, validate her, or share my personal experiences. I wouldn’t be able to talk her through seeing other people’s perspectives or plan for what to do next time. I wouldn’t know that she had worked through it enough or watch her apply what she learned the next time.

I would miss very real opportunities to navigate through actual life problems. For what purpose? So, she can be in a classroom supposedly preparing for life? Real life is here, right now. We live in it every day, not some artificial version of it. Real life is not in a classroom, it is in our homes, the park, the store, the library, while visiting friends and relatives.

I don’t need to send her away for hours every day and cross my fingers that somehow we will have enough time after school, in between homework and structed activities, to practice life skills and talk through her emotions. Instead we are with each other all day, trying new experiences, living life, modeling communication skills, listening to frustrations as they come, and practicing problem solving. Life is our school, and she doesn’t have to do it without me.

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Food Freedom, Part 2

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Last post, I gave some background into my personal history with food and health. I started reading about radical unschooling when my daughter was 2.5. I read a bunch for months, and started applying some of the concepts in other areas first. I knew food was going to be a difficult one for me, and I wanted to be confident in my choice to try first. Slowly, over time, I tried to just say yes more. I stopped trying to scare my oldest into avoiding certain foods, and I tried to stop using such extreme black and white language about food (poison for example).

So what does removing arbitrary limits surrounding food look like? Does it look like a kid stuffing their face with candy, cake, ice cream, chips, etc., all day long? Not usually. Although, my oldest has a sweet tooth, and if she has candy she will often eat it all at once, not without offering to share with everyone though. My 3-year-old doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth at all, so he will often only take a bite or two of most sweets.

Many times it looks like begging me to make broccoli because that is a favorite vegetable around here. Sliced apples are also often requested.

It always looks like asking what everyone in my house would like on the grocery list. That question gets different answers ranging from orange juice, to start fruit, to cheese puffs from Trader Joes. I try to always say yes to their requests the same way I try to get my husband’s requests.

Occasionally it looks like having ice cream before breakfast, because what is the difference between having a bit before breakfast or later in the day? It’s nutritional profile certainly doesn’t change if you have it after dinner. Occasionally it also looks like turning down desserts because they just don’t feel like it, or they it is not a favorite and they feel no need to eat it for fear of getting nothing else for a while.

Sometimes it looks like a kid not enjoying what I made for dinner and asking for something else. My daughter has a lot of texture issues surrounding food, and my son is a meat and potatoes kind of kid. So easy, no-hassle foods get offered instead. Sometimes that is peanut butter and jelly, buttered noodles, or a smoothie. Sometimes that is yogurt and fruit.

It looks like accepting that it is okay that the kids like cereal. I am not a failure for not having a fresh made breakfast every single day. I try to buy the “healthier” versions of their favorites, but I say yes to this now.

This means not taking every single morsel so seriously. Yes, they can have birthday cake at the party, sure they can have the sucker their friend offered, and yes they can have snack at church, even if it is not something I would usually pick for snack.

Yes, I can add frozen broccoli to the list, yes you can eat frozen blueberries for a snack, yes we can make popsicles out of smoothies. Yes you can eat your Easter candy at whatever pace you choose.

This means we talk about which food gives us a little energy very quickly. And which foods will sustain us for longer. Sometimes this looks like me saying “You haven’t had much protein today, would you like xyz?”

I want my kids to have a much healthier relationship with food than I ever have. I want them to learn what makes their body feel good, and what makes it feel not so good; not what I tell them should make their body feel good.

I want them to choose to try new foods when they are ready. You may think they never will, but the more I have let go of trying to force them to try new things, the more they have willingly chosen to take a taste. Not at first, but with time, healing, and the realization that they have control of what goes into their body.

I want to bake with them, let them add things to the list, and figure out what their favorite things are. I want food to be nourishing to the body and the soul.

Let me put the disclaimer here that I am not all the way there, I may never be. I still catch myself feeling fear around food, and sometimes I put down limits that upon further reflection, were arbitrary. This is a journey. My kids also have no allergies that threaten their life, and if they did I would try my best to find acceptable alternatives.

 

Visions of Motherhood: Before and after. Reality check!

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This is another post that was written a few years ago. My journey figuring on this parenting thing is still changing.

 

Every expectant mom has their idea of what motherhood is going to be like. It usually involves some idealistic vision of a sweet calm baby, who smiles and laughs all the time, wears adorable outfits, and nurses perfectly. You see yourself taking this charming bundle of joy to the park for picnics with your husband or imagine them playing (or sleeping) happily while you continue to cook gourmet meals and have a spotless house (like that even happened before the baby). Lastly, you (I!) expect many things to stay the same, namely your relationship with your spouse. All of that is well and good, and don’t get me wrong, I want to embrace the power of positive thinking…. but…. It just is NOT TRUE, at least not all of the time. Sure, I tried to tell myself it was true for a while. I might have even had myself convinced, after all I can be pretty persuasive.

The excuses didn’t put a ding in my idea vision for a while. The dishes are dirty because the baby nursed all day long…………. The floor didn’t get vacuumed because I didn’t want to wake her……Buttered egg noodles for dinner because she is just so darn cute I couldn’t put her down.

But eventually reality had to set in. Did I have the perfect sweet calm baby who smiled and laughed? Sometimes. She also wore some adorable outfits. The nursing perfectly…well that took a while. Beyond that sometimes my sweet baby was not so calm. Sometimes she cried, a lot, for no apparent reason. Did we have picnics in the park? Um, no. But we were able to go and play and have fun at the park as a family once she was like 8 months old. The gourmet meals and spotless house? (Cough, cough) Sure if spaghetti and “Yes, I did manage to get the laundry put into the dryer” counts, then yes.

I think the biggest obstacle was learning that having a baby changes things more than just what you cook for dinner. I had to learn how to be mommy and wife. We had to learn what it meant to parent together. Expectations change. It was (and is) difficult. But that’s okay. It comes with the territory.

I absolutely love being a mom. It is the most challenging, unpredictable, life altering thing. It is the only thing that can turn my horrible day into a wonderful one with one little smile. Is it exactly what I had imagined (pretended) it would be when I was big and pregnant? Not exactly, but it sure is something awesome.

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Toddlers and TV

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Is that little one watching Television? Don’t you know they tell you how risky that is, how it destroys imagination, and how very necessary it is to put a strict limit on the amount watched?

Well, yes that little girl is watching television (probably Curious George since that is her “must see”). And yes, I have heard all the things they have to say. And if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have wholeheartedly agreed. Back then I believed a lot of what they had to say. I was actually on the path to becoming a “they”. But something changed. I had a baby, and with that came this mothering instinct. This instinct guided me on many things from how I fed my baby to how I slept with my baby. It felt good. But it also scared me sometimes, and I tried to ignore it. This big gut feeling was making me question things that are not really supposed to be questioned in our society. Things like vaccines, things like discipline, and things like freedom.

I fought the questions for a while, some longer than others, until I just could not let myself ignore it anymore. I researched, I read stories, I read books, I questioned myself and questioned some more, I networked with others, I prayed (and prayed and prayed), and I talked with my husband and then decided how we felt, how we wanted to live.

The television offers so many good things, that I couldn’t possibly believe excluding it from our lives was the right way (before this point I had basically stopped watching too, because she might see it). I love to watch cooking shows, shows that are about my interests, and every once in a while a show that makes me laugh. So does my daughter.

I am still not one to have the tv on all day. It just doesn’t fit in with all the playing outside, coloring, playing with babies, dancing, reading and cooking, building (and knocking down) towers and peek-a-boo games we do. But there is something special about the way her face lights up when I turn on her favorite show or the way we cuddle when we watch a movie, or the way we instantly get up and dance when there is music in the program.

I will admit, as much I believe in freedom, I was still a little scared to turn on the television for my girl. Those doubts lingered in me, they had been deeply ingrained. But there is no decrease in her imagination, no evidence of brain rot. She continues to grow and learn and wonder.

I recently read someone advising against it because “there are other more stimulating activities available”. You know what my first thought was? Who wants to be constantly stimulated? We all need to just relax sometimes, and the television is perfect for just that.

 

 

 

This post was written back in 2011. This cute baby is now 5 and still watches TV. She has survived and thrived 🙂

 

 

 

On letting kids try things themselves

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I can climb these by myself.

When I first became a mother, I was so afraid that I was going to screw up. I am a perfectionist and I hate making mistakes. I knew logically that I would make mistakes in parenting, but I also knew that I may be able to avoid some if I tried to find tools and resources that could help me with parenting. I never had set out ahead of time to be an attachment parent, to homeschool let alone unschool, or to parent without punishment. Truthfully, I got in over my head with all the research I did, was overwhelmed with information, and much of it I had to read again later when it applied. I was reading Alfie Kohn when she was 6 months old, and that is when I first learned about parenting without punishment or rewards. I loved it. From there I read many more peacefully parenting books, and one led to another until I decided all these strategies I wanted try in my parenting. Many of them actually helped me, some created more stress and they were not worth it for us long term.

One thing I read about, and I do not even remember where I originally read about it, was letting children try to do things for themselves. Letting them do something, even if it was difficult, let them make mistakes, let them takes risks. Helping them explore things they were curious about even if it was unconventional. Sometimes they would ask for help, sometimes they would mess up, sometimes they would fall; but sometimes they would do something difficult all on their own, figure out a problem, or learn a new skill and feel great about it. This made so much sense to me. It was not always easy to avoid stepping in, but logically, I knew that so much learning came from the process more than the end result.

This could look like many different things at different stages of development. It might be, not stopping a wobbly tower from falling over as a baby builds it again and again until they are learning about balance. It could mean letting your small toddler climb up the steps at the playground, while you just stood behind as a spotter. It could mean letting them practice their balance walking across a wall. My daughter fell sometimes, but in the process she learned how to fall without getting hurt, and overall fell much less than others. Many people commented on how strange it looked to see such a small toddler climbing, jumping, and running through obstacles. She always amazed me with brave attitude, yet quick ability to calculate a situations risks and how to best avoid them. She learned when to ask for help. She also learned that if I stepped in and said that something was not safe then it really was not safe since I tried not to do that often. If she really wanted to try something that wasn’t okay on her own, than I found a way to do it with her when I could.

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She went through a stage as a toddler where she was obsessed with plugs and wall sockets. She quickly figured out how to remove the safety plugs. I tried redirecting, I tried blocking, I tried just saying no. But none of that helped. So I decided to try something else. Whenever she expressed interests in in, I sat next to her and we talked about the plug, what they do, how they work (in toddler terms). I helped her plug and unplug things in safely. She would spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes each time. At first this happened a few times a day. It was a little annoying if I am being honest, but I stuck with it. She stopped going after them by herself but would instead get my attention and point to the plug or say her word for plug. After a couple of times she realized that I would explore it with her, so if she asked and I could not do it right away I would say “Yes, as soon as I finish… rinsing these dishes, or making this snack…” and she would almost always wait for me. Then she started being less and less curious about the plugs until she forgot about them completely. Danger gone, much learned. It was not a hands off solution, it was not a solution that was quick. It required active time and effort on my part. But to me it was worth it. I handled many other things the same way, including when my son learned how to open the refrigerator.

This approach looks different over times as my kids age. Recently, my 5-year-old is starting to learn how to safely use a knife as she helps more in the kitchen. I love how kids are naturally curious, naturally want to explore and learn, and I want to foster that however possible. Yes, it takes time and energy. Yes, it means sometimes other things go undone while they are learning something new. No, it is not always easy and involves biting my own tongue and not giving the solutions sometimes. But the results I see make it worth it.

 

Kids and chores

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I see many posts on the internet that revolve around chores, usually questions or advice about how to get kids to do chores. This is not one of those posts. I don’t have a magic solution that will get kids to want to help clean the house. I wanted to share how things work in out house right now. Keep in mind that my kids are still very young at 5, 3, and 3 months old at the time of this writing. My assumption is that things will change as they grow and life changes.

I am one of those people that really hates things being messy. I feel chaotic when my house feels chaotic. I don’t need everything to be spotless or completely organized, but I feel more at peace when my kitchen is not filled with dishes, my trash is not overflowing, and the floors are not obviously in need of a thorough sweeping. Those are my basics, yours might be different. I have learned to let go many of the countless other chores that could be done to make my house look like it could be on the cover of a magazine. If I didn’t let go of the dusting, and cleaning of the windows and mirrors (this gets done very rarely), and the nooks and cranny’s, my life would feel a lot less peaceful. My fridge does not get cleaned often enough, my closets really need organized, I close my eyes half the time in the basement, and I have about given up on mopping my kitchen due to the inevitable spill that immediately happens afterward. If that sounds gross, sorry not sorry. I have better things to do than spend the majority of my day cleaning. Those things get done, just not often, and usually with help from my husband.

So now that you understand a bit more about me, I should say that I do not make my kids clean. They do not have assigned chores. Does this mean that they never clean or pick up after themselves? Not at all. My oldest is very good at throwing away trash after she is done, enjoys helping me put away dishes, or picking up the toys. My 3 year old helps me clean dishes everyday. Does he get them clean? No, but they have a positive association in his mind. He also loves to help me sweep the floors, change the laundry and put it away, and take out the trash.

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Right now, when they chose to help clean it is kind of fun for them. I have always tried to make cleaning up a game, or we sing, or put on music. My 5 year old now makes it a game on her own. She created a Pokémon clean up game in which she pretends to be a Pokémon to help clean. Some Pokémon are fast cleaners, and others are very slow. Some can only do a few things before they need to be called back. She goes through stages that she wants to play this game daily. Another game she created is one she calls “ninja tasks”. She is a ninja and asks for tasks to complete. Some of these are clean up tasks, others are little challenges or obstacles.

I have walked into the bathroom to find her wiping things down. I have gotten up from laying the baby down for a nap to find the living room looking more tidy. She tells me she does those things because she loves me and wanted to help. This doesn’t happen often, but is always a nice surprise.

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My only tactic for cleaning and chores is modeling. I try to model cleaning happily. I do that by not pressuring myself to do to much. I try not to talk about how much I hate doing laundry or mopping. I try not to get frustrated when an accidental mess is made, or a project is messy. And I am honest when I need to get something cleaned up before I can do the next thing. That is the way we do it, and it works for us.

Food Experiments

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My daughter has taken a sudden interest in creating “recipes”. This shouldn’t surprise me I guess, since she likes to create in general. She has found much joy in mixing together different flavors of applesauce, fruit pouches, and yogurt.

My initial reaction did go to food waste and mess. But truth be told, she has eaten most of what she has made and even helped clean up the mess without hesitation. The first time I walked into the kitchen and she explained that she wanted to pour milk into a popsicle holder and freeze it to make a “milk pop”, I almost shut it down and told her how flavorless that would be. I am glad that I caught myself and instead of letting that slip I forced a smile and said “That sounds like an interesting food experiment.” I really love fostering her since of creativity and curiosity. I try to just think of the temporary extra cost as homeschool supplies, after all learning is in all the things.

Also a huge bonus is that she has tried some new things, which is actually a big achievement for the kid who has trouble with anything new or different.

Oh and if you are wondering how the “milk pop” turned out, she offered it to her little brother who did not seem to think it was gross or flavorless at all. She had an ear to ear smile as she told me that someone liking her experiment made her “kind of like a chef”.