Motivate your child by thinking like a child
Every child needs life skills.
In their enthusiasm to become independent as they leave home to discover what the big world has to offer, they also discover that there is no one to cook, clean, do laundry, and iron their clothes. There’s also the garbage, car maintenance, getting your money stretched until the next payday, finding a place to live, and selecting the best roommates.
Some things your child has to learn on the go, other things can be learned at home at a young age with the help of mom and dad.
It’s about helping your child learn to iron.
Unless they aspire to be street kids or fall on their wealthy feet and land an important job with a huge salary as soon as they leave home and can afford a personal ironer, they need to know how to iron to keep their clothes looking good.
The most important criteria in this exercise are YOUR ATTITUDE to iron and YOUR SKILL in teaching them to iron.
YOUR ATTITUDE. If you hate ironing and you always complain about it, don’t bother. It will not work. You can’t teach someone a skill if you hate doing it yourself.
YOUR ABILITY TO TEACH. If you are impatient and in a bad mood, don’t bother. You cannot teach if you cannot inspire.
I suppose you have both an interest and a desire to help your son.
So, let’s go.
What you will need.
1. It is always helpful to have the ability to remember what it was like as a child.
2. Patience. Lots. Remember when you were a kid learning to ride a bike. How many times did you fall before mastering the skill and taking off on your own?
3. Sense of humor. It goes a long way in spreading a tense moment. Again, remember when you were a child. Learning a skill like tying shoelaces seemed out of reach. My mother laughed when I tied the two shoes and couldn’t move. His laugh assured me that it was a mistake that didn’t really matter.
4. The ability to correct your mistakes in a positive way. This is a difficult question because parents are so used to constantly correcting their children to do better; and they are not always aware that their behavior is brusque, brusque, and unfriendly.
For instance. A local merchant had his two preteen sons in his shop in the afternoon. All I heard while I was there was, “… No, you can’t touch that. No, don’t do that. That’s not the way I want you to stack those items.” Is this the way you want to be spoken to? I do not believe it. So keep that kind of conversation out of the learning experience.
A better way to approach it is to let your child know that what he has done is not right. Yes, they need to know if they have done something wrong. But tell them that with practice, you know they will be better than you. That’s correcting them, reassuring them, and inspiring them with just a few words.
5. Don’t expect too much too soon. Ironing is not rocket science. Your child will not fail in life if he or she does not master the ironing skills of a professional valet, butler, or master tailor. You are teaching them a skill that will help them conquer the household requirements of their life. That is all they need.
What is the right age to teach your child to iron? Between the ages of 8 and 10, I learned to iron when I was 8 years old.
There is good reason to start so early. The most important is that your child is still in love with you. This is the era of ‘pre-hormone rage’ where you’re still up there with God in your eyes. They haven’t come up with a plan yet to obstruct their parental authority, become surly, withdrawn, and want to be anywhere – as long as it’s not with you!
This is the age when your child still likes to do things with you. Hanging out with mom and dad is still a part of her life.
Read anyone’s memoirs and your best childhood memories are from that age, when a loving father taught you something. Whether it was learning to fish or learning to sew, her great joy was hanging out with Mom or Dad and doing grown-up things with them.
Ironing is an “adult thing”.
The best introduction is to ask your child to help you do the laundry. Not alone, but together, with you. Make this an opportunity to gossip and have a little fun together. This benefits both of you. Folding clothes can become a social occasion for you and your child.
The next step is to introduce them in the ironing. Again with you Remember, this is hanging out with mom and dad stuff. Starting with tissues is always safe. And so the whole family finally gets ironed tissues! Cloth napkins are safe too, as are tea towels, pillowcases, and anything straight that can be ironed quickly. Finishing speed is the criterion here. Nothing too difficult to scare them off.
And get them their own mini board and mini iron. So they can iron next to you.
I hear you laugh and groan. With contempt, no less.
Why not? You have spent billions of dollars so far on his toys. He has also spent how much (?) Money on a variety of useless items for them. Why not spend some money on tools for a skill that they acquire in adulthood? to help you with some of your household chores; and allows you to spend quality time with your child doing something together?
This is a new approach, isn’t it?
But think about it. Go back to when you were a kid. At 8 or 10 years old, the objects are still too big. A mini board, a mini iron, are the right size for a child. Something like Goldilocks finding the right bed to sleep on. And it belongs to them. Ownership of tools can lead to ownership of skill.
Helping your child learn to iron is more than just taking out the ironing board, handing him the iron, placing it on a stool, and telling him to “get on with it.” It’s about motivating and inspiring them to get started.
And that’s all about you.
This is how many men and women learn to do things. At the knees of his loving parents.
So go ahead. The best thing for your child is to be successful.
This is the first in a series of articles on helping your child learn to iron.