Powered by WebAds

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shabbat Preparations -- Involving ALL the children, continued

After posting, I handled the stress a little calmer.

I also called Moshe, and he took over. (Tag-team parenting is the best!)

Later in the afternoon, my child, who was reluctantly doing what I asked, paused to announce "I just want to know when I am done!"

I realized that that is a very important piece of the puzzle.

My child was also extremely frustrated.

This child does not deal well with transitions. I know that. But I never applied that knowledge to household chores.

This particular child needs to know what is expected and when no more will be required.

I tend to assign another task, as soon as the previous task is finished. So there is no clear ending. The child has no way of knowing how many tasks need to be done and when they will be finished. This causes my child unecessary stress.

I need to set clearer guidelines as to what are my expectations, and to give my child (children) a concrete "finish line."

If I have several tasks to assign, it might be helpful to give this child a written list, and say "when you have completed all the tasks on this list, I will not require anything more of you until Shabbat begins."

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Anonymous said...

i think you've hit on something important. i remember as a teen feeling extremely frustrated in just that sort of way, and not just on erev shabbat. there always seemed to be "no, first there's xyz to do" whenever i said i was on my way out the door (which of course had the unsurprising effect of making me want to exit all the more).
i try, though not always successfully, to give the kids a short and precise task list, but then find myself unwittingly adding to it as it's completed, too.
the add-ons, (whether it is the type that would automatically fall into the domain of stuff that i would expect them to do, like putting away their own clean folded laundry, or whether it is of the more general "there's another bag of garbage that needs to get taken out" variety) almost always get them griping (that is, if they aren't already)....
also frustrating- often there are one or two volunteers to do something totally unneccessary and labour cost-ive to me, which on a Friday, is really really hard for me to handle...

guess what i'm saying is - I HEAR YOU.

all improvements welcome.


Anonymous said...

guess it's hard to give a "completion" time as it seems our own work is never ever done - and as long as we're working, why aren't they helping? I think what helps me (sometimes) is to realize it's my work - I haven't been seeing that way and therefore, expect, hope, wish my kids would just pitch in without asking. otoh, if there are jobs that are CLEARLY their work, maybe it is easier for them to accept it.

about your parents - at least there's emails and telphone calls - guess one of the hardest things for me was when I realized I could no longer just call my dad.


A Living Nadneyda said...

I thought of another thing that might help. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done (let's say there are ten tasks to be divided among all the kids) and ask the kid to choose 2-3 himself, i.e. the ones he likes "best" (everything's relative) out of the ten. Then you can add 1-2 of your choosing, to complete his list. This might help in the "when's the job finished?" category as well, since the tasks are clearly defined, and he can choose the order he takes them on.

Anonymous said...

I make a list of jobs on Friday and they all choose jobs (one at a time, otherwise the first would choose all the "easy" jobs), every week in a different random order (whoever guesses closest to a random number I choose). Of course the number of jobs has to devide equally between all the kids. That way they do their jobs more readily because they chose them. When they are done, if there is still more to do, I ask who will volunteer, and I usually get one or two (usually the same ones) who do agree to help readily. We also tried "whoever showers before X o'clock gets one job less" but for some reason that didn't work in the long run... - Jameela

RivkA with a capital A said...

BW -- Thanks for your insight. I think I underestimated the importance of knowing when they will be finished helping and are free to do their own things.

Klara -- That is also an important point. Part of me feels like "I am not done, why should they be?" That really is not fair.

ALN -- Part of our problem is the amount of time we waste discussing all these things, because every little detail ends up being a discussion (sometimes the discussion takes longer than the task!)

Jameela -- I remember you telling/writing me about that. It sounds great, but does not seem to work for us.