Making Your Disabled Child Do Chores

A few days ago, the author of Brielle and Me had a post up about making your disabled child do chores I was never really expected to do chores. This was partly because my parents didn’t know how to teach me and felt the household would be running much smo other if they did thigns themselves. In this sense, they were lucky that my sister was always veyr independent, but even then, isn’t a chore always over quicker if you do it yourslef rather than have a child do it?

Some children are severely disabled, and it’s often hard to think of what they can do, keeping non-disabled standards in mind. Let me say to this that your child doesn’t need to become like non-disabled children, but they do need to grow in their independence. You can break a skill down into parts. For example, my chore in the institution is to make coffee, but I get someone else to fill the water reserve because it’s too heavy and high for me to work.

One of the reasons you need to make a disabled child do chores, is to give them a sense of pride and self-worth. I have experienced that chores for this purpose need not to be too difficult. For example, I was told when I first came to this institution that I needed to make my own bread, and self-worth was used as an argument. However, I don’t have the fine motor skills to do this and was constantly failing. While failure is part of life, constant failre will only make a child anxious and avoidant. I therefore recommend starting with a chore the child can already do, and introducing more difficult chores later on.

One thing I want to share though: don’t use long0term, vague consequences as threats to make your child do a chore. My staff at first told me stuff like: “You really won’t live with you rhusband if you can’t make your own bread, so go make it now.” That only got me to feel depressed and like I had no hope. For a child with disabilities, even though you as parents need to start planning for their future early, you’re setting them up for despair if you use your plans for their future as an argument why they need to do chores now. For example, I knew early on that I needed to leave the house at eighteen, but this scared the crap out of me because I had no clue how I was going to achieve this. I was as young as nine. Remember: children don’t ave the brains to plan for the distant future, so don’t bother them with it.

3 thoughts on “Making Your Disabled Child Do Chores

  1. Making your own bread?! Almost nobody does that here — I think I must have eaten from about four home-made loaves in my life. We just buy it from the baker or the supermarket. It seems a very unusual thing to expect someone in an institution to do.

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