I walked into the kitchen on Saturday and Danny was pulling the black (trash) sack out of the waste bin and carrying it across the kitchen, to take it outside.
You may think, that this is a weird thing to even mention, let alone celebrate.
But in my world, it is a really big deal.
Getting children to do things in the house independently can be difficult (especially if it involves some form of conflict/refusal first).
Having children who use their initiative, to notice something needs to be done and then carrying out that task, without being asked, is brilliant.
Since having a mastectomy last year, lifting and carrying have to be done, with a little more care, but having 2 teenagers much taller and stronger than myself, has led to me to delegate those tasks.
The other thing about being a mother is ……. it really is ok to delegate ….. it isn’t your job!
Never let your partner, boyfriend, husband, children etc. say those immortal words
“I’ve done the dishes for you!” “I’ve done the ironing for you”
As the dishes in a family house usually consist of everybody’s knives, forks, plates, cups, bowls, spoons etc. and the ironing consists of everybody’s shirts, trousers, skirts etc., they have completed the task for the whole family, not just you, nobody allocated you that task in the first place, you just did it, because you understood it had to be done, took the initiative and did it (we women are just fantastic aren’t we?).
So back to the refuse sack……..
The sack was full to the top and I found it was getting impossibly difficult to pull it out of the waste bin, last year (after my operation), so I asked Danny to help.
I didn’t ask Danny to do it for me, as I was not sure whether he would understand my verbal instruction.
Autism often means, it’s better to physically demonstrate something, rather than trying to verbally think of a way of helping Dan understand.
So I held the bin and Danny would pull out the refuse sack and then place it in the ‘wheelie bins outside’.
If you have sons, remember to tell them that you need their ‘powerful strength’ ‘big muscles’ etc… (that might even work with your husband), to get them to leave what they are doing i.e. Xbox, TV, phone, Ipad etc. and help you instead!
When the task has been done, remember to encourage with
“Good boy” (again this might work with the husband too!) and “Good girl”!
I have found in general, that if you do the housework with your children, it is easier to get them to help you, rather than simply allocating them the task and then being upset if they haven’t done the work!
This also works with homework, from Nursery, to High School.
Sit with your kids, the housework isn’t important….. 5 years down the line, you are not going to say “I am so glad I got the hoover out”, but you will be happy, if 5 years on, you children have been able to cope with school, their education and have then succeeded, to the best of their ability.
And no….. I am not just putting this responsibility on Mum’s shoulders….. Dads and Grandparents can help too!
Share their stress and think up ways to help them revise, or tackle those difficult Maths questions. Online videos can help and videos with songs about Maths, even Cartoon videos about complicated Science topics, helped Charlie and Danny this year, with their GCSE revision!
(On the online video channels, however, there does need to be more revision videos for those with Autism or Dyslexia. Not every child learns by 1970’s, BBC2, Open University Style , shirts and ties teaching …. so make complicated equations and Science principals more fun, teachers …. please?)
So week after week, Daniel has helped me empty the kitchen waste bin… and this week he emptied it himself, without been asked…
You know this year, I am actually looking forward to the School Summer holidays ,,,, getting help from Danny with “the dishes” and “the ironing”!