Maybe we are all getting a bit tired of this COVID 19 imposed cosy togetherness at home and need our space – if we are, then so too are our children and young people.
Your children have realised by now (especially in the state of Victoria) that life has changed and that change can be sudden and unexpected. You may remember last month’s article where I talked about the development of resilience and self-regulation in children – encouraged by change these are important life skills our children will use all their lives.
This month, while in this cosy togetherness, let’s look at what children can do to contribute to your shared everyday home and family life. They can be involved, have responsibility, develop stronger relationships, co-operate and maybe be a part of a family business?
First a reflection. Like many parents during this time, have you observed changes in your children? Have you noticed new things about your children, new skills or habits, interests? (Conversely, have your children noticed that anything has changed about you??? Ask them!)
From an early age children demonstrate that they are capable and responsible. https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-04/QA1_SupportingAgencyInvolvingChildreninDecisionMaking.pdf
For you to recognise this capability affirms their skill, their place in their family and community and promotes the development of their self-esteem. In children, self-esteem is closely linked to high expectations from parents, teachers and friends and linked to their ability to be motivated academically. This is not to be confused with unrealistic expectations or demands by parents or the children themselves.
Parents, you are your child’s first teacher. So how can you give children responsibility around the home?
Can they be responsible for their own room, their space, their organisation – packing their school/sports bag, taking their clothes to the washing/laundry, setting/clearing the table, packing the dishwasher, helping prepare a meal…? Can they help a sibling, a grandparent? Can they share a task with you?
An added bonus may be an opportunity to chat about their day – and yours.
If it’s a new habit you would like your child to form as part of their responsibility then it’s good to remember that these things take time (sometimes weeks, sometimes months). And yes, it is quicker to do it yourself and do it quietly because you have to race out the door or you have to be at an appointment or you have to finish this task first…… but try not to take away the opportunity for your child to learn or achieve a skill or complete a task.
And now something for the weekend ……
National Science Week was August 15-23. With this is mind, why don’t you and your child have a look at how a face mask works. Below is a link to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and their pattern to make one.
Enjoy the cosy togetherness.
Mary Digges *
Early Childhood Consultant for Angsana Education.
* Mary Digges is an early childhood teacher, lecturer, trainer, assessor and consultant in education and has long promoted bilingual and multilingual education. Mary has worked in Australia, Singapore and China.
ACECQA – Supporting Children’s Decision Making:
The Australian Institute of Family Studies: Parenting Styles and Strategies
Raising Children Network Australia: Building good parent –child relationships