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Nov 9 2018
We have been thinking about bringing home a pup. My 5-year-old has been too keen about it. We also mutually agreed she will take part in specific chores related to the pup. Meanwhile, I tried using the pup as a reward to get her to become more independent. To give you a background, Im a working mom who only got weekend mornings with my daughter. The past 4.5 years she had everything done for her. I have been trying my best to foster independence in her during the lockdown since I work from home now. So far, I have managed to get her to eat by herself, if not all, some of her meals. Now the brushing battle, however, is the toughest for me. I take out the brush and she takes about 15 minutes to even touch the brush. We talk, I threaten, sing, tell a story and this goes on for an hour before she gets the brushing done. So, I told her, if she brushes her teeth by herself every morning, Ill get home the pup. It has been a week, and the struggle is still on. I told her we may not be able to bring home the pup with this behaviour continuing, she got terribly upset. What do I do?
@Team ParentCircle Thats a conundrum. So obviously setting up a reward didnt work in changing her behaviour. Two things u need to think about - 1. Why is she not able to do the self-care tasks independently? Are you expecting too much of her? Has she been set up to believe that it is something you'll always help her with? or some other reason? and 2. if you do bring the pup home, will u task her with helping with the pup? and what happens when she doesnt? you'll end up doing it yourself? Let's discuss these points. You have said, the expectations relating to taking care of the pup are mutually discussed and clearly defined; much before you brought home the pup. You have therefore set clear expectations from your daughter and so, we can expect her to help you with the responsibilities.Now, coming to the brushing bit - if everything was done for her, and you want to change that now, the last thing that'll work is telling her to do it herself.You'll have to do hand-holding for the parts she's totally unable to do right now while giving her an opportunity to do the parts she willingly doesBreak down the morning routine into say 5 steps. For each step, think about what she is able to do herself and how much time it requires. Then for each part she is able to do herself, you'll have to stand at a distance and egg her on without nagging her- this requires time and patience but if you want her to be independent, you'll have to go through this even if she takes timeIf you break it down to 5 steps, initially you dont have to get her to do all 5 herself.Maybe get her the brush and tell her to brush, while telling a story. The story pauses if she pauses. No shouting, no nagging. You probably will get the brushing done in 10! You need to be patient and give her the message that you're there for her, but you wont do everything for her.P.S Start with a premise that you can tell only one or two stories based on your childs speed at which she can brush and agree on that beforehand.Stay strong and Parent on!
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