When you have a major (or even a minor) home maintenance task to do, it’s tempting to have your children be elsewhere. After all, when younger kids get involved in tasks, there could be more mishaps along the way. Yet, you could be doing your little ones a disservice in keeping them out of your home maintenance work; here’s why.
Not just about the job
You are probably already getting your little ones involved in some basic household tasks. From simple DIY to day-to-day chores, getting your children into the habit of looking after themselves and their home just makes sense. This way, you know your future young adults won’t be frightened at trying to boil an egg while away at college.
We don’t blame you if some more difficult home maintenance tasks haven’t been on the list yet. It’s intimidating to think of repairing the car, changing the furnace filters, or draining the pool with little ones in tow. You’ve probably been tempted to clean their room once or twice as well, just to get it done quickly.
Learning not to control every situation
For even the most loving parent, it can be tough to give up the power and control in situations with your little ones. How many of us have watched a child laboriously stacking blocks that tumble, finding all the shapes but the correct one to put in the hole, or failing to see the missing puzzle piece they need?
Life isn’t a series of perfect tasks. When we relinquish the need to control every aspect of our child’s work or play, what we’re actually doing is creating the space they need to learn some critical aspects of their personality. Perfection is tempting, given how we’re bombarded with it as an adult, but it only teaches your child how to be passive if you’re always doing it ‘correctly’ for them.
One of the most important things a child should learn is problem-solving. If you’re always there, hovering, to help them out, how will they ever learn to do it themselves? DIY is a fantastic arena for this. A delayed sense of accomplishment isn’t an easy thing to explain to a young child. DIY and home maintenance, on the other hand, often have immediate results. Engage them in the process: what can be done to fix the problem? This leads to a scenario where they can apply their minds, work through a problem, and see immediate results. It also teaches them to work through their fears.
You won’t need to wait until your excited 21-year-old gushes about fixing the sink themselves to see results when your kids get involved. Becoming self-efficient is a great confidence booster. Children who are taught they can solve problems and handle situations become more likely to engage in activities, take on work, and try new things. It’s a great way to bond with your child, too.
While it may be frustrating to see the paint drip onto your kid’s clothes, or watch your child merrily tip the dust from your home air filter all over the carpet, remember that dust can be swept and old clothes used for painting, but the lessons your little one learns from being engaged in the home will pay dividends for years to come.
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