Monday, January 12, 2009


One of my goals lately has been to make a conscious effort to have Cora (my 1 year old daughter) help me around the house.

How can a 1 year old help her mother?? Well, it's not so much that she is ACTUALLY helping, but by her doing the things that I know she can do, that I have asked her to do, perhaps she believes she is.

  • When I am carrying her when I leave a room, I ask her to please turn out the light (then I quickly walk away so she doesn't get a chance to flip the lights on and off a whole bunch!). This actually takes a very long time, because she hasn't quite figured out the "physics" of the way a light switch works 100%. But Mommy asks her to please turn out the light, eventually she does, and I thank her for doing it
  • When I sweep the floor in the dining room, I have her help by moving the chairs out of the way. She loves doing this. She doesn't always (ever!) put them where I would have put them, and she needs guidance to put them back where they belong, but Mommy asked her to move them, and when she complied she got an enthusiastic thank you.
  • Over the weekend, Matt and I treated ourselves to a cup of ice cream, and I had dropped my spoon. I asked her, "Please hand Mommy the spoon, so you can have some Ice cream with us" And she VERY QUICKLY did just that! So she proved that she is able to follow simple instructions (especially for a little ice cream!)

Cora really enjoys picking things up and handing them to people, or emptying containers (or drawers!) On rare instances, she will re-fill the containers that she just emptied, but generally not fully. I will try asking her to please put all the kitchen towels back in the drawer she just totally emptied. oh, and to fold them back up first! Do you think it will work?! :-)

Anyway, this may seem all silly, and it may in time prove not to work. I am hoping that by really fostering her will to help me, that she will continue to want to do so after she actually CAN help me. Soon she will have the ability to empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor, and so on, but will she still desire to help me if I prevent her from "helping" me now?

My hope is that while it is taking me longer to do things now by having Cora "help" that I will foster in her a desire to serve that her mother didn't have. I clearly remember being a stubborn, ungrateful child who REFUSED to help on cleaning Saturdays (sorry mom and dad!) I am really hoping to be able to avoid at least some of that kind of selfish attitude in my daughter. It may or may not work, but it can't hurt to try, right?

Does anyone have any other ideas for how I can have Cora help me around the house?? I'd love to hear your suggestions!