Welcome to Plugging Into Your Kids from Direct Energy. In this series, we will share ways you can spend focused time with your children – specifically by unplugging from technology. We want to help your family make a conscious effort to connect with each other by avoiding electronic devices and enjoying some real-life interaction
This month we turn our intentions to spend quality, technology-free time with our children, by hitting a few birds with one stone! What we mean is taking a look how we can involve our children in helping us do house chores, and integrating them in the pursuit of keeping a balanced, tidy home.
In this day and age, kids are spending more time on the internet and on video games than they likely are helping out around the house. Working, keeping a home, finding time for yourself, and spending quality time with your kids is a tough struggle.
But if we can bring them into the fold of our daily home upkeep, not only do we teach them that caring for our home environment is important, but we get time with them, and teach them how to take care of their home once they fly from the nest.
Consider these simple chores together that don’t require technology. Find the silver lining in the work, and enjoy your time together!
Ditch the motor leaf blowers and grab a rake. This is a great chore to do with children as young as 6. It gives them purpose, and teaches them a good lesson! After mowing the yard, rake dead leaves together, and brush the grass clippings into a pile. Preferably toss them into your compost bin, and if you don’t have one, why not start one this weekend?
Teach your children how to pull weeds together. This can become a metaphor in many ways, a time to pull from life what isn’t working, and tend to the areas that need more flourishing. Weeding the garden is a great time to connect and talk with your teenagers especially.
Turn off the timer on your sprinkler and have your child help you with watering. This is a great little job for children as young as 3. Get wet, play in the garden, and enjoy that quality time together.
There may not be a single thing in the book of parenting that wouldn’t suggest the importance of cooking with your kids! Teaching them about nutrition and simple cooking at an early age sets them up for a lifetime of food discovery, good health, and limiting the consumption of processed, store bought and fast food.
Have your child cut up vegetables or fruit for a salad. When making homemade bread or rolls, have them dig their hands in and enjoy the process of kneading the dough to form baked goods.
But importantly, have them help you clean up! Cleaning as you go is key to a calm kitchen. Don’t wait to load the dish washer. Have them fill the sink with tepid warm water and detergent, and learn to wash and dry dishes by hand. Sure, it may take longer, but isn’t the point to spend some good quality time with them?
Bring out the old fashioned broom and sweep together. Put on your favorite music, or maybe your child’s favorite music. This might be a moment to connect with their music, which you’ve otherwise maybe never listened to!
Washing the Car
Running through a drive through car wash might be the easy solution, but why not plan this weekend to get out the bucket, soap and sponge, and wash your car by hand. Chances are your car is your child’s taxi, so have them earn their drive! Working together to take care of the family wagon is a great lesson in tending to those items that serve the family so well.
Talk with other parents and see if their children know how to turn on a washing machine. Chances are, they don’t!
Kids love to fiddle with gadgets to ‘make things run,’ so why not seize the opportunity to work together and show them how to wash their own clothes? If you are a working parent, chances are the laundry piles up faster than you can keep up with. Sit down together with a few loads of dry clothes, and fold and chat. It’s a great way to pass quality time together, get a big weekly chore done, and to show your child how to take care of themselves later in life.
Is there a chore you do with your kids that we didn’t mention? Let our readers know below.