Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Dr. Josh...

About once every month I answer questions from the  ABC 33/40 newsroom...  Still think many viewers don't believe that I actually answer all the email questions.... I do.   Great questions this month.

My husband and I have a fairly traditional marriage, in that I do the bulk of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. However, we both work, and I’d love to have more help around the house. But whenever I ask him to do something, it seems to take forever for him to get around to it, if he does it at all. I don't want to be a nag. What do I do?

Time to start shaping his behavior. You both work so the household jobs should be divided fairly. Sit down with him, divide the jobs and then you each have your own tasks. That way you are not “nagging” him to help you. You do yours and he does his. The critical piece here is to not bail him out. If he doesn’t do his job, let it go. That may mean trash that piles up or bills that don’t get paid. He will learn

 What do you do or how do you explain to children about being a working parent? My child (age 4) is always begging me at bedtime not to go to work because I’m gone when she wakes up in the morning.

She is doing what a 4 year old is supposed to do- focus on what she wants. You can’t and shouldn’t try to explain to a 4 year old that moms and dads work. She isn’t capable of understanding that at this point. So, your best bet is to tuck her in, tell her you love her and then let her adjust. Leaving special notes for her when she wakes up, or calling her in the morning when she awakes can also be tremendously helpful. She is learning how this world works and that’s a good thing.

 What is the best way to teach children the value of money? This time of year everything she sees (age 4) she wants.

Four year olds have no concept of money- they only have a concept of what they want at the moment they want it. The worst thing you can do is get into a lengthy discussion about why she can’t have what she wants. At this age- she needs to learn that you call the shots. When you say no, it is a no.  Now- to teach her valuable lessons you can ask her to do simple chores like straighten her room or brush her teeth. Those chores could then be followed by a reward. This will teach her that we don’t’ get everything we ask for, but that if we do good things, we can earn rewards.

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