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Friday, October 31, 2008

Shabbat Preparations -- Involving ALL the Children

Every notice how sometimes one kid does not seem quite as willing to help as the others?

Ever want to say to (read: scream at) that kid -- YOU THINK THAT IF YOU ACT THAT WAY, I WILL STOP ASKING YOU FOR HELP?

Ever realize, it works?

Every week, I promise myself that I will not lose my temper. Every week, I am determined to just calmly repeat myself until that child completes the task at hand. Every week, I believe "this week will be different."

Over time, we have made progress. I know we have.

This child does help more. Sometime, even with a smile.

I wish I knew the secrect. How do I charm my child into wanting to help? Or, at least, into helping graciously? How do I convey to my child that a good attitude will make the task easier and faster.

A friend suggested we "time" the tasks. "See what you can do in five minutes." It is a good tool. Even a reluctant child can accomplish a lot in five minutes.

Some weeks are better than others.

Take a guess how this week went....

Two steps forward, one step back.

Shabbat Shalom!!

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

With love and optimism,

ps. ALL tips and suggestions welcome!!


Anonymous said...

Dear RivkA
been there done it.....
here is what worked for us:
try talking to the child during the week about it, not in "real time", when everyone is not calm. tell him something like: i need your help on erev Shabbat. I need you to be part of the preperations for Shabbat. I don`t like to have to ask for your help over and over again. that makes me angry, and i don't like to be angry.
no discussion, just letting the child know very clearly what your needs are in that situation, and let him know how you feel about it.
and on friday, i would ask only once for the help. if it does not work, there have to be consequences to the behaviour. maybe something like, during the meal, only those who helped prepare for shabbat, can eat with us or so.No anger though. But you really have to see, what works for you.
Good luck

RivkA with a capital A said...

It's the staying calm that is most challenging for me.

It is also hard not to be angry when meting out "consequences."

Usually, the consequences for not helping nicely are "no sweet drinks." I am not a fan of sugar drinks to begin with. So, I am certainly not about to take a kid who has a hard time behaving nicely and pump that kid full of sugar!

The kid in question does not really see the connection, and thinks the punishment does not fit the crime.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Anon -- I like your suggestion to talk with the child in advance. It can only help.

Ilana said...

Perhaps the child in question has an idea of what punishment *would* fit the crime?

A Living Nadneyda said...

What about the Five-Minute Bedtime Challenge, modified for Shabbat-prep activities, when time is also of the essence? You could set up a timeline (in advance) with the tasks that need finishing, and the estimated amount of time needed to finish them. It would also take an advanced conversation, but I think any method would, to be really effective, since it's a long-term habit-changing thing. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

We have an 'erev shabbat help list' which a child prints out on the computer. It lists all the regular jobs which need to be done and has space to add a few others. The children 'sign up' for the jobs and put a check when they are done. While they almost always sign up for the same jobs, experience has found that they like to sign up for them and not 'be assigned' them.



RivkA with a capital A said...

SquarePed613 -- the child in question often does have an idea of what punishment would fit the crime (sometimes, when this child was little, the ideas were significantly more draconian than my ideas).

ALN -- What is the "Five-Minute Bedtime Challenge"??

Na'amah -- that was similar to what we had, except no one wanted to do the floors and everyone wanted to do the bathrooms! (Go figure!)