Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chores for CB

I'm a firm believer in chores. Not so much to earn an allowance, but to instill a sense of responsibility and partnership in helping your family at home. Since young children love "helping" out, it was easy to capitalize on that desire at a very early age and help Choi Boy develop the routine of doing his chores.

For example, CB has always loved helping with the laundry and helps by putting clothes into the washer and pulling clothes out of the dryer. He also likes to pour detergent into the washer and he firmly believes it is his job to press the "play" button on both the washer and dryer. He also loves Swiffer-ing the hardwood floors and loves to have a turn after I've done an initial sweep. While both of those examples require direct adult guidance and set-up, we've also been working on chores that CB can do with near complete independence.

When Choi Boy came home at 15 months, he had good comprehension of things we were saying and was able to understand simple one-step directions like, "Put your shirt in the hamper." That soon became one of his jobs and he knows that it is his job to put his dirty clothes in his hamper. Now at three and a half, he also asks whether his clothes go in the hamper or on top, since he re-wears some pieces of clothing (pajamas for 2 nights, jeans and sweatshirts for 2 or 3 wears, etc).

As his physical ability and agility developed, we added more to the list of chores he is able and expected to with little to no help. When introducing the idea of independent chores to CB, we framed it by telling him that these would be ways for him to help his family. We told him that we all have jobs outside the house (his being going to school) and that we also have jobs inside the house. We also told him that since he was able to do so much more, we were trusting him with doing these jobs because we knew he could do them and do them well.
I toyed with the idea of creating an actual chore chart, but in the end decided that right now it might be more work for him and me to keep up the routine of a chore chart since he does so well either remembering his jobs on his own or does them with one reminder. I think when CB is older and able to handle chores that are more specific and less time-dependent (for example, vacuuming or dusting) and/or he is able to read and keep track of time and days of the week (for chores like "take the recycling out on Thursday"), we will implement a chore chart.

So, what are CB's chores? At three and a half, he has 4 "major" chores in addition to small responsibilities such as getting dressed or putting his dirty clothes in the hamper. His current jobs are: setting the table (this is also a great way to practice counting and sorting!); wiping the table with a wet cloth after meals -- he does the initial wipe to take care of the crumbs and then I do another wipe with cleaner; keeping his shoes lined up and orderly on the stairs (our tiny garage does not have enough space for all of our shoes and since we are a shoe-free house, keeping them on the stairs helps CB quickly get his shoes on before leaving the house); and feeding the dog before breakfast and dinner.
All of these chores are ones that CB can do independently and without much supervision (except when he's standing on the chair like that!). He is so proud that he can help in these ways and takes great care in doing his jobs. We did have some issues with him feeding the dog (because it was just too tempting not play around with all that kibble!), so he lost the "privilege" of doing that chore for a few days and once he "earned" it back, he has shown greater responsibility and restraint when scooping our pup's kibble. ;) Funny story, CB truly does take pride in being able to care for our dog and has been overheard many times saying things like, "Be patient, girl...I have to help you because you don't have arms, okay?"

We'll continue to build on this list of chores as CB grows older and we hope that it continues to build a sense of responsibility in our little dude. I'm sure there'll come a day that CB will see these chores as, well, a chore, but our hope is that even then, the idea of helping at home will be so ingrained in him that he'll do them anyway without much of a fight. (Haha...I can just picture a middle school-aged CB just rolling his eyes at that!)

What are some ways your kiddo helps around your home?

Friday, April 19, 2013

a lovely day on the farm.

Have I mentioned before how much I love where we live? Well, I do, I really do. One of the things I love most is our parks authority and all of the awesome (and free!) places that are available to us through it. Here we are just outside a major city and a few miles down the road, nestled in between suburban subdivisions, is a working farm, complete with an old farmhouse, preserved to interpret a farm during the 1920s-1950s. It's one of my favorite places around here and we love to visit throughout the year.
At first glance, you'd think this sweet farm was out in the country, but nope, it's just down the road!

Yesterday was one of those Spring days when you just had to get outside and bask in the breezy sunshine, allergies be darned. ;) We headed over to the farm with some of our favorite friends and we were met with the exciting news that the barns were filled with new babies, including baby goats born just that morning!
Those piggies were so cute! And I love how they look like they're walking around on high heels. ;)

Unfortunately, Choi Boy was acting like a total city slicker and did this the entire time we were around the animals:
I'm not kidding. The ENTIRE time.
So embarrassing.

We even got to watch and help with the daily cow milking!

Of course, CB wanted nothing to do with cow milking...
...and eventually walked himself out of the barn and waited for us by the door.

Fortunately for CB, the old tractors were not as smelly.
And, really, the mommies cared more about the sweet little baby animals more than the kiddos, who were happy to just run and run and run around the farm and playground. (I wish I had even a quarter of that kiddo energy!)

Of course, since we were there with CB's little lady, we were able to capture some more sweetness for their future wedding slideshow...;)
Can't even stand it. 

So thankful for sweet friends, sweet Spring days and sweet outings...

Friday, April 12, 2013

they see me rollin'...

Yeah, I know. I made a big stink about how I was going to be a better blogger and here I am, posting my very first April post on the 12th of the month. We've been batting a NASTY stomach bug that's been going around, so that's my excuse. Besides, you wouldn't want an entire post about that, would you?

Anyways. On days when we haven't been sick, Choi Boy has been loving riding his balance bike. He received it for his 3rd birthday from his Hahmuhnee and Hahbuhjee and while he enjoyed it in the fall, CB has really taken off on his rollin' and ridin' skillz during the last month.

If you're not familiar with balance bikes, they are toddler/preschooler sized bicycles with 2 wheels and no pedals. The concept is that as kids learn to scoot and balance on the bikes (think Fred Flinstone -- scoot, scoot, scoot and glide), they will transition more easily into riding a two-wheeler without having to first ride with training wheels. I've been really interested in them since I first heard about them a few years ago and last summer, when we saw a pack of preschool-aged boys cruising on their balance bikes, we were sold!

CB just recently gained the courage to really balance (instead of just scooting around) and loves going for long glides and down small hills. Indulge me if you will (3 times) and check out CB in action:

(BTW, the second and third video were taken only a week a part. We've had some wacky weather!)

It's so fun to watch our little guy on his little bike...if he keeps up with it, I think we might try to get him on a two-wheeler this summer!