7 Ways to Get your Kids to Help You This Passover
How to win your kids’ cooperation.
It is that time of year again. Passover is around the corner and all the cleaning and cooking that comes along with the most memorable holiday of the Jewish year.
In addition to the 12 tips I wrote about last year, here are 7 more tips to get your kids to help you prepare for Passover.
1. Help them to listen:
All kids, especially younger ones, are better able to follow our directions if we touch them on the shoulder, get down to their level and make eye contact. It is hard for them to respond when we call them from a different room. Hand them the broom when you want them to sweep and a rag when you want them to dust. The visual cue gets the message across better than anything you will say.
2. Teach them to ask you if you need help:
Children are not going to naturally offer their help. They rather be playing outside or playing video games (wouldn't we all). It sounds silly but we need to teach our children to ask us if to help us.
Before any of the Jewish holidays, I will round up my kids let them know their jobs and also remind them: “Every so often you need to find me to see if I need any help. Please remember to ask, ‘Mom, can I help you?”
3. Give them a time frame:
Kids are more likely to help if they know how long you are going to need them for. Be specific. Instead of: “Help me cook,” try: “I need your help peeling 20 potatoes. It should take you about 20- 30 minutes. It is now 7:00 at 7:30 you should be free to play.”
Kids bask in the light of their parent’s positive attention. As Becky Bailey in her book, Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline, says, “What you mention you strengthen.”
So be liberal and effusive with your appreciation:
“Thanks so much for peeling those potatoes. It was the hugest help! I really appreciate your hard work! ”
It really is the best way to get repeat performance. Everyone loves to be appreciated, especially for work that you don't really care to do.
5. Ask them for their opinion:
Children like it when their parents ask their opinion on things. It helps build self-esteem and they become more invested and responsible about doing their jobs.
“Should we make a potato kugel or roasted potatoes? Which do you like best?”
“We need to go to 3 stores today. Where would you like to go first? How should we work the route?”
“Should we tackle the pantry closet first or the drawers? Should we do the harder job first or second?”
6. Keep in mind their preferences:
Try to give your children jobs that they like to do, or that they don't mind doing. One of my sons likes to fix things, my daughter likes to cut up vegetables- except for onions, and my other son will do anything but cook. If you can, keep their preferences in mind. In an effort to teach your kids to respect each other, you can let them know, “Okay, Sara, can’t stand cutting the onions, can anyone help her with that?”
“Eli, thanks for offering to wash the dishes. I know you hate sweeping, can anyone take that job?”
Bonus: Teaching kids to respect each other’s likes and dislikes for specific household chores is a great lesson for marriage.
7. Stay calm and be in charge:
It is hard to work for an employer who is disorganized and frazzled. The same goes for kids. They will be able to better help you if you are calm and efficient. Make lists of what and when chores need to be done. Share this with your kids. It will be easier for them to help out.
Click here for great Passover ideas for kids.