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SINGLE MOTHERS: CREATE CHORE PARTNER!

A recent email from a single mom in Australia bemoaned the fact that her otherwise bright and delightful daughter was not doing anything like self-care or home work. “I push her up at 6:30 am every day, pick her up at 6pm and put her in bed by 10pm. I do all the cooking myself to make sure she is eating healthy. But I don’t have much time to do things with her. She is bright and popular in school. She loves school and hates to be at home because I ask her to go by a time table for all the things she need to do everyday (self care and study). She is in the second grade doing third grade work, but she doesn’t do much on her home work other than making crafts and writing story or songs. She hates the boring stuff. She doesn’t know much about taking care of herself, often losing things in school. I always do things in a rush, so I do most of it for her to save time. The more I do for her, the less she does (the less she knows what to do). The more I care about her, the more annoying and rejecting she is. She even talks back to me and we fight.”

There’s no question it’s tough being a single mom. And it can be tough being the daughter of a single parent.

My suggestions for the single moms out there who need help in doing it all start with creating a chore partner.

If you have fallen into the trap of doing things around the house yourself because it’s quicker than showing your daughter how to do things, get yourself out of the trap, Why? You get tired and cross and resentful because you’re the only one doing the work.

In the case of the mom who wrote the email her 7-year-old daughter, she has a bright, mature girl who does well at school, is popular with her peers, and is creative enough to write stories and songs. Mom has to learn to expect the best and work with her strengths rather than fight with her.

I suggested it was time for some remedial parenting. “Take her out to lunch or breakfast (like you would do if you had a problem with a co-worker and wanted to straighten things out) and tell her you are tired and sometimes cross because you have to work AND do everything around the house too.”

“Now that she is a big girl of seven she’s old enough to be your partner in chores. If you two work as partners then you’ll both have more time for fun together. Make a list of all the chores you do, including cooking, and ask her to pick three she wants to learn how to do and then be responsible for. A child this young cannot be expected to cook a meal unsupervised but she can scrub potatoes and put them in the oven at the right time.”

“Ask her to make a chart and check off when these chores are done each day. Spend at least a half-hour with her every day, just the two of you doing something special. Call it “Partner Time.” Add more chores and more little rewards as she masters the chores she picked.”

“Tell her –and mean it!–that you EXPECT the best from her at school, in chores, and in behavior toward you. Explain that if she has a problem with how YOU act to tell you about it so you two can work it out. That’s what partners do.”

“She is still a kid so you have to be willing to cut her some slack but don’t go on the old way resenting that she doesn’t help. Instead make the partnership fun for both of you!”

TELL YOUR FRIENDS THEY CAN GET A PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, AND PRIVATE ANSWER TO THEIR PARENTING QUESTIONS BY GOING TO info@ParentKidsRight.com