Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mother's little helper

In recent weeks my little girl has undergone another huge change and, turning around, we suddenly notice she is different! Previously, she liked to investigate everything, such as the full shopping bags after a shopping trip, but mainly to play with them and generally cause chaos. However, she now loves to think she's helping us (even when she's not!), and is keen to find ways to do so. Yesterday, after I had been shopping and was beginning to unpack the shopping trolley she appeared in the kitchen and before I knew it was behind me, holding a sweet potato out to me. Rather than asking her to leave things alone, as we've often had to do, I asked her to put it in the vegetable cupboard. Wonder of wonders, she did!! (She knows where the veggies live, as she's always going into the cupboard when I'm in the kitchen, trying to get vegetables out, so I wondered if she'd be distracted and start playing with them again, but she didn't.) We were able to continue in this way to the bottom of the trolley, with me telling Iona where to put each item she got out, and her doing so (although I had to open the fridge door for her, as it's heavy). I was really impressed both with her focus on helping and her memory of where things went.

The same has been true of Iona helping us in other ways lately. Once, a few weeks ago, she found our feather duster and started running it along surfaces, saying she was dusting, and she often picks up the tool that we use for getting dog hair off the carpet and wipes it along the carpet, saying she's hoovering. She also went in the garden yesterday, picked up an old broom head, and rubbed it over the wet path, saying she was cleaning because her friend was coming! My question now is, how do I capitalise on this desire to help? Invariably, if I ask her to help with anything, she doesn't want to! I'd like to do like so many other families seem to and have set chores (simple, of course) for her to do, such as helping with the washing up (which she did with me once), both to improve her skills and to get her into good habits of looking after herself, but she seems to just be at that age of non-cooperation. Of course, it probably doesn't help matters that both David and I tend to do housework whenever we feel like it (or when it's desperate!), rather than at set times, so maybe it's hoping for a bit much that Iona would be any different!!


  1. Thank you so much for your comment on my post about giving children freedom, i really appreciate you stopping by. I think that like you, i am slightly more laid back with Little D than my husband is, and most certainly more laid back than some other mums that i know.
    Little D also loves to help out around the house. He will often (almost daily) unload or load the washing machine or dryer for me, and will pass me things out of the fridge when i need them and put them away again. Just yesterday he took a duster out of the cupboard and started to clean our kitchen floor, doors and cooker. He loves helping out so much.
    I think you could encourage Iona by perhaps giving her her own set of tools or brushes and letting her clean up as and when she wants to. And make it fun! We often do silly dances when cleaning up!

    Aqeela xx

  2. Thank you for your comment. Yes, you're right about making it fun - that's how I usually head off tantrums, by making her laugh (by pretending to have one myself). I like the idea of getting her own set of brushes - might try that.