Although there are only four words it is amazing how open that phrase is to interpretation. What do we actually mean when we say, take out the trash? Each family will have a slightly different interpretation but for the most part we expect :-
- Take out the full bin carefully and put into the large trash can outside. ( Maybe divide the trash if recycling into the right containers)
- Secure that lid so little animals can’t get in.
- Make sure there’s no gunk at the bottom of the original bin. ( Gunk = smells)
- Clean if necessary with a paper towel and the household cleaner of choice.
- Put a new bin liner in correctly so it doesn’t disappear when the first new trash is put in. ( Report if this is the last liner or it’s getting low)
- Wipe the lid, inside and out.
- Check the floor around the bin for dropped trash.
- Wash your hands
- Close all doors + cabinets + put back anything you used like dustpans, cleaners, wipes etc ( maybe this is just for my family)
Even with this there are many of you adding parts I missed or taking parts out that don’t fit with your family.
We all have our system. It’s ours. We’ve got it down.
They haven’t, yet.
We have to stop presenting children with chore or contribution charts that say: take out the trash without explaining how to to do and have it written somewhere because most of these quick to say statements actually have specific process.
Teach and show
When learning anything new like, take out the trash I can’t just assume that the children will know how I would like it to be done just because of proximity. Yes they may have seen me or others do it but I mustn’t assume they know this process. The process. But we do assume.
This is where many of the big clashes come with contributions because we use those innocent four words, take out the trash and each of us has a very different take on what is about to happen next.
Their finished product and ours is often very different not just because they are children and their standards or abilities are different, that’s a given for some but it is that our expectations are different. It’s not until the end of the process that we realise how different! It’s like a test.
Once they complete we mark them on how well they have done but they don’t know what they are being tested on.
It is possible to let them discover the way to do things too and some children prefer this method. At the moment I’ve found that mine prefer we show and share then they try and as they get proficient they customize and change up the routine to suit themselves. We do ask and sometimes they want to try. Depending on what it is we’re happy to let them discover for themselves.