All posts by Dominique

Singaporean Educator, Coach and Hands on Mom of Three. Connect with me on Google+

Household chores

Many people may be asking what a one year old can be taught to do? At such an age will a toddler be able to follow instructions given?

The answer is Yes’

Even though they may not follow what you want them to do 100% of the time-as most kids do- they are able to follow simple instructions given to them.

At One he has a vocabulary of 20-60 words even though he is only able to verbalize the most 5 to 6 words clearly. [ Mummy, Daddy, Ryan, Ah Ye, Mama & mummum-food]

After his 1st birthday I have introduced him to the toothbrush and am slowly teaching him how to brush his teeth. He is able to grab the toothbrush and try to imitate his brother brushing his teeth.

I feel that he is ‘old enough’ to help out by assisting me with some simple household chores.

Roy is learning to:

  1. Clean up- put back his toys after play
  2. Take out the clothes from the washing machine and put it into the laundry basket for me to hang up.
  3. Take his storybook out from his shelve and bring it me to read for him before bedtime. He also places the storybook back into the cupboard after reading.
  4. Switch off the electronic appliances after use (TV/Radio/VCD player)

Ryan on the other hand has learnt to:

  1. Clean up after playing
  2. Keep his shoes/bag away after returning from school
  3. Put the dishes/cups in the sink after use
  4. Brush his own teeth and do his own toileting

I will be teaching him how to:

  1. Help in folding the clothes ( this is also one of the activities suggested in the Montessori book that I have been reading)
  2. Mentor reading to Roy ( it will help to build up the bond between the brothers and also improve his reading abilities)
  3. Vacuum the floor.

I believe that kids should learn the contribute their part and help in doing household chores from young. This will be good training for them and also teach them basic life skills.

Conversation over lunch

My elder boy, Ryan, has always been very vocal since he could talk at 9mths. Within a span of 3yrs his vocabulary has expanded exponentially.

Flashback to 2yrs ago where each utterance was either one or two words it really was blissful compared to NOW- he can readily give his opinions/recommendations and reasonings while engaging you in a nerve wreaking heated debate.

Here’s an excerpt of our “conversation” over lunch.

” Ryan sit down and have your lunch”. I chided him for climbing up on the chair and trying to disturb Roy who I was busy feeding.

” No~I’m not hungry I do not need to eat, ” He replied.

Trying out my latest resolution not to get easily angered with him I told him that it was fine that he doesn’t want to eat but everyone else at the table is going to have their lunch. He can either join in and have his lunch or sit and wait till everyone is done.

” No~ I want to go to West Coast Park” he said ” Let’s go now!!” He insisted.

I reiterated my stand with him and told him we are not going anywhere till we are done with lunch, irregardless of whether he is going to have his.

Ryan turns over and speaks to daddy.

” Daddy , after lunch we will go to West Coast Park okay?” he says

” Just you and me go to West Coast Park and play.” He pauses to think for a while.

” Roy can come along too BUT mummy is not invited. She has to stay at home.”

Hubby quizzes him on why he doesn’t want me to come along to the park.

[ You can faint in anger when you read his reply]

” Mummy wasn’t being nice to me. She tried to make me eat my lunch. Naughty Mummy”,Ryan said.

“Later when she decides to be a good girl maybe I will let her come along with us, ” he adds.

He has rearranged what I have said to him earlier on in the week and twisted the context to his favour.

On an earlier occasion I had told Ryan that he wasn’t been nice as he had roughly pushed Roy and snatched his toy away while Roy was playing with the train set on the floor.

I did not allow him to play with the train set but told him to get another toy to play with instead as his brother was currently playing with the train set.

I also mentioned that when he decides that he could behave nicer/ play together with his brother and share the toys he could come back and play with us.

Today it shows that he fully understood what I was said to him and is able to reuse what he “learnt” to his advantage.

Maybe he will grow up to be a famous politician?

For the record – Ryan has always had problem during mealtimes as he doesn’t fancy eating and rather be off playing. Each mealtime takes about 1-2hr just feeding him even though he is able to self-feed by himself.