Many parents can relate to writer Michaeleen Doucleff's struggle when she says,
"Sometimes it seems like all that's standing between me and a clean house is my two-year-old, a master of destruction and mess-making."
In her time visiting the Yucatan for an NPR series, Doucleff observed what she calls the Mayan method, the practice of collaborating with your children to complete a task.
Instead of trying to control children, or even excluding them from a chore altogether, parents aim to harness their children's love for being "helpers" into a collaborative effort.
This way, when it comes to chores around the house, parents are able to work with their children to accomplish a common goal together, rather than waiting for nap time to get things done.
Doucleff tested out the Mayan method for herself with her two-year-old daughter and had this to say:
"Such contributions are tiny - and don't really help me. But I can tell she is learning something golden: To love collaborative activities and working together."
Working with your children to complete a task may not speed up the process, but the sense of accomplishment and responsibility that results is incredibly important for your child's self-esteem.
Read more about Doucleff's experience, and how to try the Mayan method at home with your kids here.
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