Despite the giant leap Feminism has made for women’s rights, there is still a significant amount of households being maintained by women. Many women fall into a trap of doing the majority of the household chores. It likely happened as a result of their behaviour when they first moved in with their partner.
A lot of women get swept up in the moment and want to prove, that their partner has chosen the perfect wife. They want to care for and pamper the person they love.
It’s been bred in them since they were born. Little girls are taught from an early age, how to maintain a home and look after children. They cook the meals, keep the house sparkling clean, do the washing, ironing, shopping and anything else that fits in with the 1950s version of the ideal wife.
The only problem is, as time passes, these things will be expected. This is ultimately how women have made a rod for their backs and how societal expectations have supported it.
Therefore, if you want a household which resembles an equal partnership rather than a relationship which mimics of the 1950s, be aware you have the power to do either. It starts in the first few months of being alone together, when you first learn how to live together. Being aware of how your current or past behaviour leads to expectations of your future behaviour is the key.
So, when moving into a home with your partner don’t automatically take on all the responsibilities of running a home. This is what women have done for centuries. If you want your life to be different, it needs to begin differently.
Although your partner may come from a home where the women does the cooking, cleaning and shopping; they can learn to do things differently. If your partner insists they don’t know how to do something; teach them! Some women may be lucky enough to snag a man who has been taught by a mother who has prepared them or who has lived out of home for a time.
Chores such as washing, ironing, shopping, cooking and cleaning can be done by either partner. Having a roster for things that need to be done is a great way to share the load.
Working out who is better at what, is a part of the adventure of living together. Your partner may be a wizard in the kitchen while you are better at mowing the lawn. Who cares who does what as long as it all gets done and you can share the responsibilities.
This will remove the burden of doing all the housework for the remainer of the relationship; which in some cases may be lifelong. Remember that it’s much harder to change a pattern once it has began than to establish the desired pattern at the onset.
By Kim Chartres
Are you currently in the process of teaching your kids to share? Many parents find it difficult to get their own kids to listen to them, let alone share their food or toys! But try to understand that sharing doesn’t come easy, but lots of patience and perseverance will help kids understand this valuable lesson which will remain a constant throughout their entire life. Below are just a few suggestions if you’re struggling with teaching your kids empathy:
Expose your kids to a number of play dates, which won’t just be confined to the family home. Children (especially those aged between 3-4 years old), will find it difficult to let go of their beloved toys. Instead, go to a playground or indoor facility and let your kids interact in a different environment altogether. This will teach them to share something which isn’t exactly their own.
Lead by example
Young children are very impressionable, so try and practice what you preach. Show them that you are also capable of sharing your items with them, your friends and other members of the family. Really try and make a point of this, and if you can, get the older siblings to participate as well.
If your child reacts badly to a situation make a point that it’s all about ‘taking turns.’ This will make it an even smoother transition for the child, since they will begin to understand it’s their turn next. Perhaps this will make it easier and less painful every time another child comes over to play.
Don’t force them
Forcing anyone to do something against their will, won’t ever work in your favour. Instead, create an environment which will encourage personal growth and understanding. Children will often feel a certain power which comes with keeping something all to themselves. The attention is usually shifted off of them when they are forced to share, hence the temper tantrums begin.
Don’t always interfere
Children are more than likely to develop small problems when they are required to share a toy or even time at the playground. Just because they start yelling or screaming, doesn’t mean it’s a golden oppourtunity for mum and dad to interfere.
Teaching your children values from a very young age is a great way to encourage this type of social behaviour. Watching the way mum, dad and other siblings interact is a carbon copy of the way the child will also act later on in life. Give them an oppourtunity to develop their skills and their personality along the way. These changes don’t just happen overnight – and often are difficult to break if parents and siblings aren’t willing to try something new and out of their comfort zone.
Image via Confessions Of A Parent
Sharing is a social convention and therefore it’s not instinctive. Instead, kids need to learn how to do it. The art of sharing is learned at around age 2-3 years. If you go into a playgroup, childcare or kindergarten setting you will see the struggles as kids fight over toys and other activities which catch their eye. Staff at these places have their work cut out for them as teaching children to share can be brutal. Tears, tantrums, hitting and biting can take place, just so the child can end up with what they want. Lets face it, toddlers are very ego centric little characters.
If you are in a single child family, you may find that sharing isn’t one of your child’s strong suits, even into their primary school years. This age group can be very determined and their inability to share can translate to problems at school and at home. Luckily we have some great tips for you to help your child to share regardless what age they are.
- First and foremost, role model sharing in your home. Kids learn a great deal from watching adults around them. If you have a TV, computer or technology hog in your home; they are encouraging selfish behaviour. Role model sharing of these types of items and it will go a long way to help your child learn how to share.
- Use daily life situations to encourage sharing. For example; chores that are age appropriate such as setting the table or putting toys away are easy chores for children. Allocating these types of chores to your child will encourage them to help around the home and are a great tool to teach sharing responsibility.
- Board games or other types of games are not only great fun, especially in winter, but also encourage your child to take turns and share. Don’t set it up for them to win, because they need to learn that everyone will have their turn at winning and loosing.
- Make up your own games as well. For example; rolling a ball to one another as you sit inside on the floor. Only the person with the ball gets to speak. This not only teaches your child to take turns but opens up a forum for communication. Take turns picking the topic you discuss. It can something like “What’s your favourite?” The person with the ball asks the question and then rolls the ball to the next person for them to answer. Learning when to take turns speaking is a vital tool for school and an essential life skill.
- As your child continues to learn new skills, invite other children to your home. This will be the ultimate lesson in sharing. Setting up toys to play with, which are not your child’s favourite, will reduce the impact of your child reacting to others playing with their toys. Initially be prepared for problems but acknowledge they will ease as the experience becomes more familiar.
Using simple techniques both at play and around the home can teach children how to share. Persist in anything you want your children to learn and it will eventually happen.
Image via diyconfessions.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/not-sharing.jpg
By Kim Chartres