Doing Dishes is Like a Puzzle

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Doing dishes is like a puzzle. At least that’s what I tell the #kids. Now it’s turned into a fun game at times.

I will be the first to admit, I hate doing dishes! But even I don’t mind it as much now that the kids and I have learned ways to make it more fun. When the kids first started helping me with the kitchen they thought doing a bad job or acting like it was to hard to figure out, I would get frustrated enough to let them out of it. They learned quickly they were wrong. I was easy on them in the beginning, too easy. Once I realized they were playing me, it became harder for them to play the game of doing it wrong to get out of it. And they found out it took longer now because now they had to take everything out and put it back the right way.
As important as it is for them to learn to be responsible and take pride in their work by doing their best, it is equally important for my sanity that everyone is getting along. So I told them my trick for making it more interesting is to think of filling the dishwasher like doing a puzzle. You have to figure out where the “pieces” fit best, so you can maximize the space. Otherwise you end up doing an extra load just because things were put in all different directions. I actually look at it as a challenge. When they say they can’t fit anymore in, I ask, “would you like to make a bet with me on that”. So now all three kids are looking at the “puzzle” because they want to be the one to solve it.

But then we had another small hiccup. We have twins, a boy and girl who just turned 10 and the youngest is 6. Because she is a “baby” as my husband says, he let her play a game while the other two help with the kitchen. This frustrated the twins because not only did they have to work while the little one got to play, but she would turn the volume up on the game because she couldn’t hear over the noise. If that wasn’t enough, she would yell and cheer loudly at the game. So I quickly overrode my husband and found small jobs she could do like putting things away or wiping the table.

Now we get it done as a team and the kids even time how long it takes so they can “beat their record”. There is always a positive if you just look for it!

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