Only 4 more sleeps until our much anticipated “Around the world” Fun Fair.  Remember to book your tickets (Children’s tickets R100 and food/drinks etc on the noticeboard) as the queue can get quite long – pre-buying allows you to go straight in and enjoy the fun J Also, please RSVP (if you haven’t already), on this link

I like to see the start of the new term as an opportunity for a fresh start.  I often find towards the end of term I lose steam and bad habits start to creep in.  I find myself giving in more easily and letting things slide because I don’t have the energy to fight.  In this case the particular bad habit I am referring to is Screen time.  I admit I am guilty of using the TV to occupy Zoe so I can clean up and prepare dinner in peace; however, I am not proud of it and have decided to make a very necessary change.  It is definitely easier to plonk our children in front of the TV while we cook and clean, but then we will missing a valuable opportunity to teach them essential life skills.

I have such fond memories of helping my mom in the kitchen and this is probably why I still enjoy cooking to this day.  Growing up, we were expected to help with the day-to-day housework and this helped instill independence, a good work ethic and proved to be valuable training for managing my own household when I moved out.  My husband on the other hand, was chased out of the kitchen and never given chores or responsibilities around the house.  It took a lot of “encouraging” (also known as nagging) to get him to contribute to the day to day running of the house.  You can only help your children (and their future partners!) by teaching them basic household management skills.

“Being a part of the routine work of running a household helps children develop an awareness of the needs of others, while at the same time contributing to their emotional well-being. Children who consider themselves necessary to the family are less likely to feel adrift in a world where everyone wants to feel needed.”

Being involved in chores helps children develop important relationship skills, such as communicating clearly, negotiating, cooperating and working as a team.  When children contribute to family life, it helps them feel competent and responsible.  Sharing housework can also help families work better together and reduce family stress. As my sister likes to say: “We all contribute in this family!”  When children help out, chores get done sooner and this in turn frees up time for the family to spend together doing other fun things.  Or as my sister recently discovered, sometimes doing chores together is the fun activity.  She was trying to get her children to help with the gardening and they were just not interested.  The children who live next door happened to pop over and asked if they could help – suddenly my niece and nephew were super keen to get involved. Suppose what it comes down to is to try and make it fun, then they will be more likely to want to help out.

“When you teach chores to your kids you’re setting them up for success. Doing chores helps kids learn responsibility and—without question—boosts self-esteem.”

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