Thursday, October 26, 2006

More TV Thoughts...

"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?


Anonymous said...

Good job, Monica!
I know this can be exhausting! And there will be days when you won't have the energy for it -- but the results you've noticed already will help you stay the course!

I love you and I'm proud of you!
Love, Mom

Grace said...

Oh Wow Monica
Thanks so much for all that info. I am going to whip out the chair or stool more often and get Brianna up there with me. Such great advice and my opinion right now on things taking longer is Great!! The more time that went by that you didn't have to entertain her with something else. And you got something done too. I too have notice the same lethargic behavior along with not eating. Although nothing to the extreme of the other behavior. Hmm something to think about for sure. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out.
Love you

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Kudos Monica! I'm really happy for you.

thehomespunheart said...

Yes - Grace, you are so right - it doesn't really matter how long it takes since they are being entertained and taught at the same time! I guess Emily was acting up more because she was getting so little attention, I'm sorry to say. I don't know for sure that Emily's behavior was attached to the movie watching - but it sure has changed, so it does make me wonder. I'm praying that Brianna will respond well to the helping and that it will lift some of your burden as well!

Heather said...

Good job, Monica! It's definitely more challenging to engage the children and let them "help" than to plop them down in front of the TV, but I too have felt like a better mom when they are spending their time on more worthwhile endeavors. I have 6 children at home with me all day, so I know the challenge :) One tip- you can wash bathoom surfaces with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water for pretty good results. This is what my children use to clean the bathroom, and I feel good that they're not using chemicals.

thehomespunheart said...

Thanks, Heather for the encouragement and cleaning idea! I feel so much more sensitive about what cleaners I am using now that she is an eager helper! :)