Mothers will always tell you that getting their children to perform chores can be nerve wrecking. In most homes, it is common to hear Moms shouting do the dishes, clean your room, put your toys away, how many times have I told you to do this or that.

We often think it is impossible to get children to cooperate and learn how to handle tasks and we blame this on the children but are they really to blame?

We all agree that children learn best from watching us and from practise but then we tell our children what to do and expect them to jump right into it.

Have you taken the time to train?

Take time for training is a positive discipline tool that employs a teaching strategy to train children.

The Positive Discipline Tool cards by Dr Jane Nelsen, explains the steps to training which are highlighted below:

  1. Kindly explain the task as you perform it while your child watches.
  2. Do the task together.
  3. Have your child do it by herself while you supervise
  4. When she feels ready, let her perform the task on her own.

This was exactly how our beloved Prophet (SAW)taught Islam. He did it by first practicing it, creating a positive emotional connection to Allah and acts of worship. He was not rigid nor harsh. It was the Prophet’s manner of teaching Islam that drew people to Islam.

Don’t spring chores up on your children. As parents, we often make the mistake of deciding on our own that it is time for our children to start doing certain tasks without consulting the child.

The truth is if you’ve never specifically given chores to your child before, he’s going to wonder:

Why is Mummy making me wash the plates or fold the clothes now?

So appeal to his desire to be more grown-up. It can be as simple as saying:

“Now that you’re 5, you’re stronger, taller, and more careful. Why not try washing your plate after eating?”

You can motivate your child by:

  • being clear about what each person’s chores are for each day or week – write them down so they’re easy to remember.
  • talking about why it’s important that a job has to be done.
  • letting them know that sharing housework help families work better and reduce family stress. When children help out, chores get done sooner, and parents have less to do. This frees up time for the family to spend doing fun things together.
  • showing an interest in how your child has done the job.
  • encourage them by including it in their routine.

Children learn a lot from doing household chores. The chores help children learn life skills they will need in their adult life; skills like cleaning, organising, preparing a meal that they need to take care for themselves, a home and a family.

You can make the whole process a learning activity for little children. They can learn how to sort things, colours, shapes, sizes and lots more, especially if the training process is made to be fun by adding songs or made into a game. Taking time to train is also an opportunity to teach children relationship skills like communicating clearly, negotiating, cooperating and working as a team.

When children contribute to family activities, they feel competent and responsible.  The secret for involving children in household chores is asking for contributions that you value and that suit your children’s ages and abilities.

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A chore that’s too hard for a child can be frustrating – or even dangerous – and one that’s too easy might be boring. Even a toddler can start to help out if you choose activities that are right for his age.

You can start with simple jobs like looking after his own toys. Chores like this send the message to your child that his contribution is important.

Mistakes parents make while training include:

  • being impatient with their children
  • putting pressure on the child by hovering or criticizing
  • being harsh
  • offering payment to encourage their children.

If you are strict when training, you may make them lose interest in the task and it takes the fun out of the learning process.

Children learn better with kindness and affection. When you show them the fun aspect of activities, it becomes more interesting to them. Impatience and Pressure makes children lose confidence in themselves.

According to Jane Nelsen, the fourth stage of training is letting the child do the task by themselves.

Doing this will prevent you from hovering and commenting while giving the child the opportunity to reinforce what has been learnt and develop confidence while doing it on her own.

The Prophet (SAW) used to train in a very beautiful way. He always tried to reform without hurting. He was always careful not to utter words which could hurt or make someone feel shamed during training. The Prophet (SAW) said:” Allah deals with kindness and likes kindness in every dealing”.

The Prophet (SAW) used to deal kindly with children. He used to laugh and be humorous with them. He used to take care of their delight completely. It is imperative upon elders to take care of children’s feelings and emotions according to Islam.

Parents should understand and train children by being patient while fostering an affectionate and loveable connection with them. The training obtained as a child will guide a person all his life.

I hope you have learnt something. If yes, would you like to join me in the Parenting for Jannah Academy? You should join the waitlist HERE to be notified when next we are open.