Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chores for urban kids

So, what shall these next weeks bring?  I'm hoping for more fun with my sons, some conscious face time with my beloved husband, and far less screen time in my household.  After a rather painful offense against his father, Primo was given housekeeping chores this weekend; he performed them willingly and fairly well, with guidance appropriate to a boy cleaning a bathroom and kitchen for the first time.  He asked useful questions, requested appropriate breaks, had a snack, and was generally in a playful mood as we went through the chores together.

The rest of that day was pretty great, behaviorally, for Primo.  There was a less-than-usual amount of backtalk and disobedience, and some useful suggestions for what to do with the evening.  He proposed early combined showers with his brother, in order to get to watch a movie -- displaying forethought and the planning required to get a desired privilege.  Primo has to be in a really good emotional place to be able to put all of those steps together and make the proposal in a manner that is appealing to his parents.  It was pretty great.

These Ralph Moody books have me thinking about what kids like Primo would have done to get along and survive in the days before Asperger's was a diagnosis, and autism was an identified neuro-psych disorder. I've been considering the chores that many non-urban kids still do, and wondering what we can do with Primo to keep his body working hard enough that his mind and emotions are mellowed by it.