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"tomatoe staking" question...

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I'm trying to wrap my brain around this and would appreciate anyones help on this. Here's the situation...let's say I am working on this with my ds8...let's say I want his help cleaning up the living room, do I sit and oversee him as he is doing it (calmly of course) or do I do it with him? If I do it with him, how do I deal with the staring of into space, walking from item to item, not really doing anything, type stuff. Eventually, I will have cleaned the living room, and he will have done very little.


Now, multiply that by 4..how do I do this with 4 kids...what does it look like?


Really curious...I'm a bit sick of my own attitude when it comes to their chores, and am looking for ideas :001_smile:

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You probably already know this, but I have found with my daughter that you can't say "clean the living room" or "clean your room." You have to say "pick up all your clothes and put them in the laundry bin, then come get me." Then I give her another small task until the room is clean. If I am cleaning with her then if she tries to say "help me," I will say "I am helping by doing---insert whatever task I had not asked her to do---."

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I can't remember where I read it...a newspaper article maybe? But these tips helped me get it together.


Always be close enough to touch the child while they are learning a new chore. After you've shown them what you expect, stay close and remind them when they are forgetting something/staring off into space. When finished, reward them with words of affirmation and a hug. Keep this up until they are confident with the job.


And if you're like me, after a while you know they know how, yet they might begin to slack, remind them of their privileges. ;) I have learned never to just assume they really got the chore done. I always check on them during and after the job. I also made a very large chore chart where they can easily see what they are supposed to do and they can check it off as they go.

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1) Do it with them.


2) I sit on the floor. The hard part for me of cleaning the living room is all of the getting up and down. Then I call to the kids one at a time:


"E, I need your help!" She comes over, and I hand her half a dozen blocks. I tell her to put them in the block box.


"C, I need your help!" He comes over, and I hand him 3-4 cars. I tell him to put them in the car box where the toys are organized.


"E, I need your help!" I give her a few miscellaneous items that go into the general toybox, and I direct her accordingly.


"C, I need your help!" I give him his shoes, and tell him to "Put these where they go."


This system works for us. The kids are 3yo. Everyone gets half of a flavorice popcicle as a reward, but there ARE natural consequences. Anyone who does not respond when they are called repeatedly gets put on the couch, and gets either no flavorice or a lesser proportion of the flavorice.


One day, after repeated prompting (as above), the kids still did not help. So Loverboy and I ate flavorice IN FRONT OF THE KIDS with none for them. I had LOTS of help cleaning up the next day!

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Thankfully I only have 1 of my 3 children who stares off into space and does not clean, but basically I have to tell him to pick up such-and-such and put it away. He needs me to make cleaning bite sized. He cannot 'go clean the playroom,' but he can 'go put the legos in the big lego bin' or 'put all of the dress up clothes in the toy chest.' I usually clean the kitchen (right next to the playroom) while he cleans the items that I asked him to clean so that I can catch him finishing that and give him further instructions.


Some people I know clean with their kids, but I find that when I help my kids I end up cleaning the whole room while they put one or two things away.

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Have you read the Raising Godly Tomatoes website- particularly this section.


Jean in Wisc wrote my all time favorite blog post regarding tomato staking. It is very touching story.


For lifestyle tomato staking you train a child by keeping them physically close to you. To clean a room you can model behavior by cleaning as well, but at the same time give the child specific tasks to complete. Encourage and explain as you go. Build lines of communication even if at first you feel like you are talking to yourself.




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