Learning to clean

I have been trying to start teaching Mingli to help me clean up.  I believe chores are important for children.  It teaches them the skills they will need when they are living away from me, teaches them responsibility, care for others in the home, and many more things.  For the past few months I have been trying to slowly introduce Taren to helping around the apartment.  I know he is still young, but I figure it is better to start young.  We are working on helping him learn to clean his room.  I am going really slow, because I don’t want to overwhelm him, or make him to stressed or upset.  I also have everything organized in his room, and I want him to put everything where it actually goes, so we are working on one thing at a time.  We started with the wooden blocks.  I worked with him, helping him understand the the blocks go in the basket, and only the blocks go in the basket.  After I helped him understand that he began picking up the blocks by himself.  Before his nap and before bedtime we go clean up his toys together.  I tell him to go pick up his blocks, and he will go to his basket and start picking them up.  At first I had to put them all in a pile beside the basket for him, now he can go through the room and get them himself.  He often gets distracted and will just watch me, or play with his toys.  I pick up everything that he doesn’t know how to yet, and gently remind him to pick up his blocks.  I don’t push him, he is still young, but I remind him and hand him blocks to put away.  Recently I started teaching him how to pick up his Duplos.  I took a while helping him learn how to sort the blocks and the Duplos and put them in the right place.  Now he chooses which one he wants to pick up, and often switches which one he picks up.  When I have picked up everything that he doesn’t know how to pick up I start helping him with what he is doing.  It is going slowly, but that is ok.  Right now it is about learning, not about him actually getting his room clean.  He will get there eventually, and in the mean time I am going to keep being patient with him, because he is more important than getting the room clean.

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