Putting away laundry is often a long, lonely and profoundly boring activity that takes up so much time.
Babies generate a huge amount of laundry and cloth nappies. Toddlers and preschoolers with their rough and tumble, exploratory play.
We eventually work out a routine but countless hours are devoted to it each week. Piles loom and perhaps get moved from room to room or chair to basket.
Children love the side by side play while we are working. As I sweep he’s sweeping too. As I cook, he’s stirring too. They love to imitate and we can teach them in small steps how to do the larger things with the piece of apple technique.

 

Piece of apple technique

Let me tell you a quick story about the piece of apple technique. My boys love apples. If I quickly cut the apple into two huge slices either side of the core. Cut those two pieces into three, then cut the two pieces off the odd-shaped original apple, we quickly have eight pieces of apple.
Those apples when left on a plate disappear almost before the plate hits the table. Also when there’s one person eating the apple they are quick to eat it all. However, when I suggest they eat the apple by just biting it, perish the thought now, the apple isn’t often finished.
  • It somehow becomes too much to eat by itself
  • We eat in that classic pattern and leave big chunks at the top and bottom
  • It’s not a satisfactory outcome for me the apple buyer and them the apple eater.

They need to eat one piece then the next piece and so on to complete. It won’t always be like that but right now this system works for us both; the piece of apple technique.

So what does this story have to do with laundry?

We need to give our children a piece of the apple by teaching them and training them in the laundry process; piece by piece. Eventually they will be able to eat the whole apple and not blink an eye.

 

Ron Huxley Eats: I love simple parenting techniques and this is as basic as it comes…thankfully. Teach children to do tasks one step at a time but remember to teach them. Don’t yell or threaten to get compliance. Parents have to look at the job of parenting when in a challenging moment with a child.

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