"If you could please go into more detail on how Emily "helps" you with tasks."
Ok, here is what I've tried this week:
- Laundry: put a small stool in front of the washer and as you are sorting the clothes, hand them one item at a time to your little helper and have her put them in the washer. I also let her hold the cup for the laundry soap and poured it and let her pour it into the washer. Then, when the cycle was complete - she stood at the dryer and I handed her one item at a time to put in the dryer. She loved this so much that she got up on the stool later and said, "Wash!" And, has done it several times since then.
- Cleaning the toilet: I know this is risky - I washed her hands REALLY good after she helped! I was right there to prevent tasting any cleaner or gross water or anything! She simply loved using the toilet scrub brush to swish around the water. I scrubbed it after her of course.
- Other Cleaning: Spray Windex on toilet lid, etc... and give her a rag to let her wipe it off and clean! Today when I was dusting, I offered to have her help and she was content playing by herself, so I don't know what she would do with that yet.
- Gather Trash: when I was taking the trash to the dump, I had several folded down boxes to take. She was easily able to carry those to the car and loved feeling needed and helpful!
- Floor: I spray on floor cleaner (baby shampoo and water) and she has a rag to help me scrub it off.
- Cook: This child LOVES to stir! When I made a casserole the other night, I did the hot ingredients at the stove and let her stand on a chair so she could reach the counter. She stirred the cheese, etc... and then scooped everything into the baking dish. We had carrots also and I put some water in a measuring cup and let her pour that into the pan then I put some carrots in a bowl and let her but those in the pan also. She put them in one by one!
- Set the Table: I have to carry her for this. I get out everything we need to set the table: plates, napkins, silverware and hand her one plate and explain where to put it and repeat with the other plates. Then repeat with napkins and silverware.
- Wash Dishes: I put warm sudsy water in the sink, gave her a dishrag and some pans - she really played rather than washing the dishes. But, that is really what I am after here - is entertaining her without the TV!
- Clean Up: Every evening before bed - we have clean up time and she picks up her toys, books, etc... and puts them away. This takes a lot of hands on help right now - but she is learning!
I have found that she is so eager to learn and try something new! She is just a little sponge wanting to soak everything up!
This kind of helping does not save time right now - but as my Mom reminded me, this will cultivate in her a greater desire to help and this will help me greatly in the long run!
"Can you direct me to the behavior the Focus on the Family mentioned..."
While I could not find a copy of the article on-line to link to, I will mention that the behavior mentioned was, "uncooperative, uncontrollable, jittery and generally a terror to endure."
I have not found Emily to be this extreme. I have noticed her acting very whiny, lethargic, mopey, and not eating well. I was ready to call the doctor to find out if something was wrong. But, since we have cut back on the TV - all of this has changed. She has become very pleasant, eager to please, has started eating much better again and is generally more obedient.
Rather than the constant pestering to watch a movie, she has asked once here and there. And, when I tell her no - she accepts that and moves on - a complete change from a few days ago.
I hope this helps! I certainly do not have all the answers and know that there are lots of ideas floating around out there. The key is deciding what will work for your family (or trying things until something does!) and then going with that. Every child is different and different things will work or not work.
Anyone else have any ideas to contribute?