You’ve got one or more little ones and you’re trying to do chores and watch them at the same time. You’re growing very weary checking on them every five minutes to make sure they’re not unrolling all the toilet paper or burning the house down. You’re also aware that it’s been two days since you’ve given the children any quality attention. And children need and crave attention.
So get them involved in what you’re doing. Unlike older kids, small children usually love to help. It makes them feel responsible and gives them confidence. They see it as a fun challenge. They also see it as something they can do with Mom or the nanny.
Of course, your chores may take a little longer and be a bit messier, but you’ll know where the children are and they’ll be happy. However, don’t set up a child for failure. Give them small tasks that are almost impossible to botch. Don’t ask children to carry something that may spill. Don’t expect them to figure out a job that requires several steps. For example, give him a sponge when you’re washing the car and let him sponge the fender for a while. If you’re folding clothes fresh out of the dryer, give her a few little shirts to fold or socks to match. If you’re preparing dinner, a child can stand on a chair and wash a few potatoes.
An important part of this exercise is liberal praise. Thank the child and praise him or her for being helpful. That’s all it takes sometimes to make a kid’s day. So next time you’re going berserk trying to do chores while refereeing the children every three minutes, try giving them simple tasks both to help you along and keep them occupied.