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Give the maid a break, let your kids work

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st August 2009 03:00 AM

LAST Sunday I visited a friend, Josyline Kiboko, a mother of three teenagers. We chatted about many things, including school and the children expressed their excitement to be back home after three months.

LAST Sunday I visited a friend, Josyline Kiboko, a mother of three teenagers. We chatted about many things, including school and the children expressed their excitement to be back home after three months.

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

LAST Sunday I visited a friend, Josyline Kiboko, a mother of three teenagers. We chatted about many things, including school and the children expressed their excitement to be back home after three months.

The children also excitedly shared their plans for the holidays. Lora said her agenda for the holiday started and stopped with sleep. She was going to catch up on “quality sleep”, which she had missed while at school.

Anne said she wanted to catch up with new television soaps like La Tormenta and Shades of Sin, while Peter said he intended to spend the holiday visiting friends.

Interestingly, none of them mentioned anything to do with domestic chores. Indeed, none of the children was lifting a finger to help the maid with tasks like preparing the meals or cleaning dishes. Rather, they were sprawled out on the sofas, watching TV like their lives depended on it.

Kiboko’s is a representation of the typical family, where children are allergic to domestic chores and leave everything to the maids.

Stephen Langa, a parent and a counsellor with Family Life Network, encourages parents to engage the children in household chores. “As parents, you should have goals to achieve and helping children to be responsible and productive is fundamental,” he says.

Langa adds that parents should take advantage of the holidays to teach the children skills, like financial management.

He explains that many times children perceive doing housework as a punishment. However, it is important you explain to them that working will enable them acquire skills needed in life.

HOW DO YOU INVOLVE THE CHILDREN?
Plan with children and divide the activities according to the number of weeks in the holiday.

Draw up a duty roster to distribute the chores like washing utensils, washing clothes, cleaning the house and preparing meals. Keep rotating the tasks so that they do not get bored.

Set the example by doing some house chores yourself.

Make sure all the children get involved and work with the maid. This way, the maid will not to be overwhelmed by work due to the big numbers.

Reward the children when they do their tasks well and finish them within time.

Do not complain when your child does not do a task right the first time round. It will discourage them from doing that task. Instead show and help them do the chore until they learn to do it right.

Allow the children some time to relax and do whatever they enjoy doing like watching TV. This will prevent them from loathing housework as it is the sole activity they are allowed to do during the holiday.

Give the maid a break, let your kids work

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