“Before I knew it, it was time to set the table for lunch. Josiah and I raced to see who could get done with our jobs first. I slowed down at the end so Josiah could catch up---then I let him win! Mommy took me into her room alone and gave me a million hugs. She said she was so happy that I was learning to see how others feel—and that I make Josiah feel important. I think she’ll probably tell Daddy, and he’ll say, “Jonathan, Mommy told me a good report about you!” I love it when he says that—he always has a big smile on his face and tears in his eyes when he does.”*
All of the “Help” and “Chores on his Own” listed in yesterday’s post (early elementary, ages 8 and 9)
1. Make a freezer entrée, learning to double and triple ingredients, such as meat loaves, enchilada casserole, hamburger stew, taco meat, etc. ***
2. Learn to operate some other outdoor equipment, according to maturity and difficulty of tools
3. Teach ironing, beginning with square, small items and moving onto more difficult ones
4. Start learning to operate grill, including how to cook various meats to proper temperatures, etc.
5. Teach any cooking methods that you have not taught previously, such as crock pot, griddle, broiling, grilling, etc. with the goal of the child being able to grill burgers, broil chicken breasts, assembly crock pot meals, fry eggs on the griddle, etc. all on his own by the end of this time period
6. Work together on cleaning out and organizing freezers (again, do not leave this child unattended to defrost freezer)
7. Teach proper cleaning of appliances, instructing child to unplug first; not fill things with water that should not be (i.e. some electric skillets); not to stick metal in electric appliances, such as toasters; etc.
8. If child cannot maintain certain systems, such as toy shelves or linen closet, etc., work with him on these until he could be given a certain area to maintain (not that he would be given many, but knowing how to set up an organizational system and maintain one is a skill he should start to learn). (This works best if child has developed system with you, such as developing organization of toy shelves or book cases, etc.)
9. Learn to pack for trips, refilling toiletry bags, figuring underclothes needs, making packing lists, etc. by packing with you
10. Help scrub kitchen appliances, such as fruit bin from refrigerator, inside of microwave, etc. with direction and oversight
11. Help clean out buildings, shed, garage, etc.
12. Hang up loads of laundry; teach him how to operate on permanent press; how to remove from dryer and hang on hangers quickly to avoid wrinkles; etc.
13. Teach proper phone etiquette, including taking clear messages
14. Teach how and when to change sheets (not just daily bed making)
15. Learn to do other outside cleaning, such as lawn furniture, grill cleaning, etc.
16. Teach some simple mending, such as buttons and re-sewing hems that have fallen out
17. Learn more advanced baking, such as biscuits, bread, frosted cakes, etc. with you
Become Own Chores:
1. Cleaning car alone, either inside or outside (Do not allow child to run car vac at the same time he is cleaning outside of car. It is important to teach kids that water and electricity absolutely do not mix.)
2. Mow small yard alone
3. Weekly clean bathroom from start to finish by end of this time period
4. Dust entire room, including ceiling fan with feather duster; moving things to dust; carefully dusting frames, etc
5. Entire vacuuming job, including corners, under sofa and furniture etc.
6. Evening meal complete from start to finish
7. Weekly cleaning of refrigerator, including scrubbing shelves and door units
8. Full responsibility of own bedroom now (daily, weekly, monthly—though you will likely still need to help with seasonal, especially seasonal clothes rotation, etc.)
9. Babysitting for short periods of time as many children as can handle; not infants unless napping for sure
10. Prepare packed lunches
11. Clean windows
*For the complete story of “Jonathan’s Journal, follow this link: http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/03/day-seventy-eight-introducing-jonathans.html
**If you have been reading PP 365 long, you probably remember that we focused on giving our children entire chores/areas rather than just having them “help” forever….this builds self-esteem, responsibility, and skills. Anything you can “give” your older elementary child (i.e. weekly bathroom cleaning; one evening meal; etc.) will help him towards more and more responsibility.
***I found it was important to write my recipes in “child-friendly” form—with a numbered list of steps beneath the ingredients. Also, in the early years of cooking, it is helpful to write out the words cup, teaspoon, etc. in recipes, as opposed to c., tsp, etc. I always told my kids that teaspoon was what you drank TEA with (the smaller one) and tablespoon was what you served food at the TABLE with (larger one).