Bonding by including children in chores

Learn about: Bonding by including children in chores from Mary Hartzell, MEd,...
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Bonding by including children in chores

Well I would, and I have advised, particularly single parents or working parents who come home very tired, to think about that time they have from when they get home until it's time for bedtime differently. Instead of either/or, how can either be with my child or get these other things done? Don't make it that kind of an either/or. Include your child in the task to be done. Children love to be doing grownup work. A child can stand at the kitchen sink and wash lettuce happily for a long time and probably even eat salad for the first time in their life because they got to wash the lettuce. And you also help children to be part of things for the household, giving them little chores to do. But you see, when you've been away, you've worked all day, is that they want to re-bond with you, and they want attention when they first come home. So instead of trying to push them away at that time, it really works best if you say, "Oh, let's sit down and have a story, and then mommy's gonna go change her clothes and you can come too." And then, once they've gotten some attention, they've re-bonded with you. And when they haven't seen you all day, that's their first priority. And so if you give them attention and then even invite them to do things with you, you see it differently, and then it offers you different choices as well.

Learn about: Bonding by including children in chores from Mary Hartzell, MEd,...


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Mary Hartzell, MEd

Author & Parent Educator

Mary Hartzell has over 30 years experience working with children, parents and teachers. She is the director of The First Presbyterian Nursery School, a nationally recognized early childhood program in Santa Monica, California. She is co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and also has created a series of CDs on Parent/Child Relationships. Her parent education classes and her private consulting practice have benefited hundreds of families.

Mary began her career teaching in the public school system and completed her master’s degree in early childhood education and psychology at the University of California in Los Angeles. She taught in the early childhood unit at the UCLA Lab School and supervised student teachers. 

Mary is the mother of three grown children and has four grandchildren. During the years she was raising her own children she taught in the gifted program of the Los Angeles Unified Schools, primarily in South Central L.A. For the past 20 years Mary has been a workshop presenter at national, state and local conferences of the National Association of the Education of Young Children. She has been a lecturer at UCLA extension and is adjunct faculty at Santa Monica Community College in their early childhood department. She also provides workshops, teacher education and consulting with schools throughout the United States.

Mary has served as president of the North Bay Chapter of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Vice President of the Association of the Child Development Specialists. She was the recipient of the first Pediatric Aids Foundation’s “Hero’s Award” for her work with children and parents.

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