Dear Cherished Readers,
Phew…. it has been about 14 weeks since we started homeschooling and finally, I have got into some sort of routine to be able to blog, AlhamduliLlah. It has been a flexible few months, all of us trying to adapt to a new lifestyle… the menu and household chores have been delegated which frees up time for me to homeschool. Things don’t always get done though… and it has been a journey that has involved embracing imperfection and mess for the sake of harmony.
Easier said than done!!
In reality, the journey has involved me getting really annoyed when family members don’t do their agreed bit (or lot!), resulting in me shouting and complaining… and then feeling awful for it. MashaAllah my family are very happy to help as long as it’s fair and doable, and by reminding everyone in a friendly manner makes the whole experience a lot more pleasant. So how to do it in a friendly way and not an explosive one?
Disagree – Affirm – Discover – Do Again.
- Disagree with the way things are happening
- Affirm the good the person does (steps 1 and 2 can be swapped if more useful)
- Discover what is causing things to not go according to plan
- Do again. Either help them do it again or work out how they will do it again more successfully
And it really does work a charm, Alhamdulillah.
Let me give you an example:
One of my sons has the laundry responsibility. And one morning I noticed a basket of washed and over-dried clothes in the kitchen. The next day it was still there but had acquired a sibling. The morning after, as I walked into the kitchen, I wondered what would greet me. I was right, the baskets were still there, but what was more, there was another load being washed.
I had so many thoughts going through my head, calculating the options. I wanted to give him a good telling off, was thinking of begrudgingly sort out the laundry myself, and was even thinking ‘should I just get a cleaner?’ However, I decided to use DADD.
- Disagree: I told my son I was upset that there was so much accumulated laundry, which meant that all of us were looking for clean clothes. I impressed the need for sorting out dried clothes sooner rather than later so they would need less (or no) ironing.
- Affirm: I affirmed what a good job he normally does with the laundry, and how he is helpful in so many ways.
- Discover: I asked him what was up. ‘How come this is happening?’ and what he said really amazed me. He told me that his laundry routine had been fine until I moved the ironing board upstairs. With no ironing board open in the kitchen (I had made space for my daughter’s art desk in the place it used to be), he had less space to sort out the clothes. He couldn’t put them on the art desk as it was always messy. He couldn’t put the clothes on the worktop as there was always food or crumbs there, and when he took the laundry upstairs to sort out, it was harder as he had to put everyone’s clothes in everyone’s rooms. (in the kitchen we have a cupboard with a tub for every family member to sort out all the smalls). Hence he kept putting it off. To tell you the truth, I found it hard to believe, and said ‘so you mean to say if the ironing board came down, you would always be on top of the laundry?’ I really didn’t think he would say it, but he said yes.
- Do Again: I immediately agreed to bring the ironing board back ‘I will make it fit!’ I said to him! Before the day was over I brought it back down again, and once more, mashaAllah, peace and harmony were restored to the Malik House. 🙂
Try to apply the DADD principle next time you want to blow up and see if you discover anything as profound and simple as a moved ironing board.