Yesterday, I had to work all day. I left before Dindin woke up and I didn’t expect to come home till dinner. But my work got extended and I got home around 10pm.
This was a first for us, so I told Dindin the things that she needed to do. But after that, I listed them down and taped the list on the bathroom door. This is the first time that I made a to-do list for her, so I am not really sure if she will follow them. She can read, so it was easy for her to check what she did. Her babysitter was the only one with her most of the time.
Dindin’s To-do List
1. Wake Up
2. Take a bath
3. Eat cereal
4. Make writing Assignment
5. Have lunch
8. Go to school
9. Wash body
MAMA IS HOME!
And you know what? She followed everything to the letter. She didn’t even want to watch TV after doing her assignment because Mama did not say so. When she went to school, she did not have her long hair tied because Mama was not here and only Mama can do that. After dinner, she expected Mama to be home soon, so until I got home at 10pm, she kept on pointing on the list, waiting for Mama to come home, but she didn’t fuss. She just waited. I wanted to cry because I realized that she can already be trusted to do things instructed to her at 4 years old.
Also, I wanted to cry because I am not the ideal mom. I can be loving, but I can also be a disciplinarian and I have anger and depression issues. Yes, I deal with this and a lot of times, my anger is vent on Dindin. So I have to say, this is not about me or what I did–it is God’s grace that used the bad things for good. And I can only cry because of the realization.
Now that I know she follows instructions, I will try to make my list more detailed next time, such as including more specifics to the list. We will see if she will abide by them, too.
I am not sure if this will work for all kids. This has certainly worked for me. Dindin is the type who respects signs that she sees in school, church, or at the mall, so I guess that is the reason why she also respected the list I made for her. If you want your kids to do something and they can already read, then try making a list for them. It’s one way of teaching them responsibility, too. 😀