A proactive family, the dream!

05 February, 2019

It's Saturday morning, I am vacuuming to pick up the toast crumbs and the cereals on the floor after the breakfast storm and I kindly ask my oldest to pick up and put away the three blocks of wood who drag on the ground question to facilitate my task. Without looking up from his magazine "Explorers"  he replied, "It was not I who used them!" A burst of frustration then sets in in me. I turn off the vacuum cleaner and much less kindly, I give him my eternal remark: "It is not I who ate cereals and who left half of them on the floor, yet it is I who pass the "vacuum cleaner. I'm not the one who stains your clothes and yet I'm the one who cleans them every night" and so on! When I repeat the same thing for the hundredth time, I feel ridiculous and it horrifies me! So it was with great vigor that I continued to vacuum. (You know this vigor with which the exasperated parents start to do the housework!) I still took this time to think about what I could put in place to improve the situation and especially to decrease this tendency to "everyone for self "which is starting to take up a little too much space in this house. First step: a family council  Once the vacuum cleaner put away, I summoned the whole family for an EXTRAORDINARY advice! When the urge comes to me to yell at my children like that, there is something that bothers me in this house and I will not wait to become a "mother to butt" to settle it. We're going to chat all together and get into solution mode. To illustrate my words, I tell them about my experience at St-Hubert BBQ (Do not hesitate to appropriate it if you want and make your children believe that you worked there, because this anecdote turned out to be very easy to understand for children!) When I worked at St-Hubert there was a very important rule that we all had to respect under penalty of being dismissed: "Never walk empty handed!". If your customers are all eating, and you have no one to serve or serve, go around the tables of your colleagues. It was all together that we were productive and not each for ourselves. The problem here is that the parents adopt this attitude but the children do more "I was not the last to use it!"  When parents do all the work, it's exhausting and it's not fair (to use my children's words!) When parents are exhausted, they are less inclined to do little extras because the simple act of managing the daily minimum is already a very big task. I then gave them some examples: "In the morning, if I have to make you think of doing your routine or even putting away all the little things that you do not put away, I risk doing the bare minimum for lunch. However, if everyone does something (empty the dishwasher, pick up a hand towel that has fallen in the bathroom, put a toy lying around in the middle of the room rather than stepping over it, having lunch, etc.), maybe I will have more energy to make you pancakes or a good smoothie that requires more preparation .... ". (I must say that I knew that speaking of a smoothie or pancakes for lunch I would have a reaction!) It's called being PROACTIVE! So I offered them this: "For a limited time, if I observe you behaving proactively, I will give you a block! Does that tell you? "Everyone voted for it and we decided to put this plan into action! Second step: implementation of the solution  So I prepared a little combination  as a reminder so they can keep in mind what it means to be proactive. There she is: My oldest has thrown himself deep into the box in "proaction". It must be said that he already has a predisposition for that. Which is wonderful with the system of General storeis that when one of the gang makes an effort, the others feel obliged to do the same since everyone wants to have an equal number of cubes to spend in the Store when the day of block counting comes. Results  If you are wondering if we have solved the problem, the answer is no! But we have greatly improved things. It all depends on the time spent on it. It is clear that it required a lot of observation the first days. "Well done Louis, I saw you put away the piece of puzzle found on the carpet, put yourself a block" or even "Super Simone, I notice that you really applied yourself to make your bed, you did as best you can see it, you can put a block ". With a lot of patience, we will be able to grow and empower these little beings we love so much!