Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chores - a Self Determination theory SDT and CPS approach

Kids are more likely to contribute to the home and do their chores when they can identify with the goals of their parents and have their needs for autonomy - see chores and autonomy support , competence and relatedness met ( Self Determination Theory ) while engaging in chores. Chores present us with many opportunities to support kids autonomy , their skills and competence , and most important a time when parents and kids can connect and spend time together. So many good conversations can take place while kids and parents are doing things together.

 It is important to always have in the back in our minds our Parenting goals  when we deal with chores and contributing around the home.

1 Discuss the benefits of an organized home with the kids. The idea is to elicit ideas and responses from them with dialog questions rather than lecturing or telling them.  We should try to 'transcend' interactions with kids and go beyond instructions or giving kids a list of chores - The kitchen can be a classroom .We should turn it into a learning experience and the acquisition of skills and more important , a time to connect and spend time with your kid.  Browse the internet. This shows kids that organizing a home is a  ' science ', something serious which requires learning. We can expose them to some of the ideas of Feng Shui  and the important concept of ' de-cluttering ' your home,  so the taking out the trash takes on a different meaning.

When kids identify with your  goals and benefits of an organized home , they will be more motivated to contribute to the home.

2 Talk in the plural  - our home , what we need to do . Kids need to see themselves as individuals but part of a family, class, school or community. We want to foster autonomy and interdependence and  RELATEDNESS

3 COMPETENCE -  check   Sarah  Ward on Executive functions  http://www.abspedpac.org/Documents/Sarah_Ward_execfuncpres.pdf

A lot of kids have problems with planning ,  how to perform  the task and monitor  their progress.

We can collaborate with kids and let them visualize the future, and make a plan. It helps to break  down the plan into its parts,  and then we need to organize ourselves  so we can achieve our goals , monitor how we are doing and evaluate our progress.  We can use Schemas or flow charts  -  that show the time , sequence, space , materials and people related to the plan. We can put these schemas or posters on the walls as prompts and reminders.

We should do this with all tasks in the home.

4 Getting started and transitioning -  competence

Having a daily routine and schedule gives a certain predictability to the day and helps kids to transition.    It is important that the kids themselves participate in making the lists.
Getting started is often a big problem.  Parents may need to help kids get started by working with them on the task. Working with someone on a task helps kids inertia and they benefit from the attention they receive from parents or connection with others. Parents can demonstrate how the job can be done and share they experience.

5 Review and monitoring progress
There should be an agreement made in advance that kids and parents will review the situation together and do some collaborative problem solving to solve any problems.

6 Because chores are rarely intrinsically motivating we need to associate them with other goals.
a)      In some cultures the home is made tidy in order to honor a festival or the Sabbath
b)      Guests and friends are honored by entertaining them in a tidy and pleasant home. If we want tidy homes  have friends of your kids come for visits or sleepovers.
c)       A tidy home is a mirror of the people who live in it.

7  Modeling -   We need to model  behavior and attitude for our children when we engage in chores. Our homes should be de-cluttered and organized , the same items stored in one place , labels abound and space is used well.  We need to do things with energy joy , song and dance so the kids can't not join in and have fun.

8 Association of fun – We can give  Chores an association with fun if we play some good music and have some goods snacks  and drink on the table .There are plenty of cleaning up and fun games that make chores more fun. When we and our kids enjoy ourselves , we not only connect with each other – relatedness  but also to our inner cores and perceive our  autonomy and self direction.

9 CPS – collaborating to solve problems
a)      Empathy stage -  out of the moment :  I have noticed …. What's up?  - get kid's concerns on the table , go slow , let him feel understood
b)      Define the problem – put your concerns on the table
c)       Invitation -  I am wondering if we can find a way  to address both concerns and brainstorm a mutually satisfying solution
d)      Agree to review how the plan is working.


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