A birthday is more than balloons: involve the children so that they are part of the preparation of the birthday decorations
It’s a chore filled with so many tedious tasks, from screaming in the morning to tantrums at night, from riotous invitations to endless phone calls – birthday planning is so much fun, but we wouldn’t all leave it for the world. Their tiny footsteps follow you around the house as you hang those multicolored balloons and listen to them dance alongside the ‘Lion King’ for the hundredth time. Their laughter at your mighty fall from the ladder you were standing on, trying to hang a piñata full of candy. Their adorable cheeks are puffed up as they ask you if they can have a sweet before the party.
Did you know that these times can also be an opportunity to teach them responsibility and get closer to your children? Yes, you heard us right, you can hire your children as helpers… for free! And many pediatricians would recommend such an early attempt to instill effort and hard work into their diminutive counterparts.
This is how you engage them:
1. Try positive reinforcement
Operant conditioning is a widely applied psychological trick used for mammalian training and research… But that shouldn’t stop you from using it to encourage good behavior. A piece of candy for a certain household chore you ask of them is a fair deal, right? After all, that’s how the world works! Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t go to work if you didn’t get paid. It would also make them more likely to be a help around the house; just make sure you don’t turn the expectation of a reward into a habit.
2. Act as a role model
An age-old aspiration of all parents is to be a role model for their children, and here she couldn’t be more helpful. It’s always encouraging if you’re taught a skill, especially through visual learning and repetition. So show them how a task is done and then ask them to repeat after you. Correct your mistakes with patience and kindness. Trust us, you’ll be on your way to becoming the master decorators of tomorrow in no time.
3. Give them easy tasks
While watching your child grow and mature is always delightful, make sure their tasks don’t exceed the level of complexity their little heads can handle. It is one thing to teach them responsibility and another to make them feel incompetent. You want it to be a challenge they can overcome. Tasks like holding the basket of lace or confetti while you walk around the house placing them would be perfect.
4. Never let your vision wander
Finally, never let your child work on something they thought they could handle on their own. You don’t want your 10-year-old to be near a hammer that he thought would help him finish faster. Young minds are creative, and that’s wonderful. But it’s also a double-edged sword, meaning if they’re left to wander, they could be up to absolutely anything. And we don’t want that.