Learning About My Grandson When Cleaning
A couple times a month, I help my grandson sort out school papers and clean his room. Although it looks like we are helping mom accomplish a difficult task, I love helping my grandson because I am able to learn more about his interests and what he is learning in school.
A Shared Experience
Our room cleaning project has provided the following insights:
- We occasionally sort through his toys to identify what he wants to keep and what he no longer needs and would like to donate to other children.
- As we sort the toys, we discuss happy memories playing and what we would like to do in future on various play dates.
- We discuss various interests and how his toys can help him explore new interests. For example, Lego can be used for various science explorations.
- My grandson is able to reflect on what he values and I can share my experiences.
- We brainstorm new activities and outings we can share together to explore new and expanding interests.
- Sometimes, we sort through his book collection and talk about our many memories of reading various books together. We may start reading the book together again and relive various interests and outings that are relevant to the story. My grandson may also decide that some of the books should be donated to other children.
- When sorting artwork, we discuss how he felt when making the art piece and what it represents. My grandson may describe a wonderful adventure that he was thinking about when creating his masterpiece. Other times, he will share a silly story about how his art piece was developed and what it represents. We have wonderful laughs and discussions as he selects which artwork he wants to hang up in his room.
A Final Thought
When I help my grandson organize and clean his room, it is not about organizing his possessions. The focus is to gain a greater insight into what he is thinking about when he creates his projects. I also learn more about his passions and interests. The activity is just a vehicle that brings us closer together with many shared memories and special discussions.
Much joy in helping our kids organize their rooms!
Copyright © 2019 by GenParenting
Joyce Iwasaki has over thirty years of educational experience working with diverse students in grades from preschool through high school. Joyce’s extensive background includes teaching elementary school, serving on early childhood advisory boards, and advocating for educational initiatives as a legislative aide. During her tenure as a legislative aide, she helped create legislation that allowed incarcerated mothers to keep their newborn babies with them while in prison. Additional legislation was enacted to allow incarcerated pregnant mothers to remain unshackled during labor and delivery. Ms. Iwasaki established and served as the president of an educational scholarship foundation for fifteen years. Her foundation awarded college scholarships to emerging student leaders who provided service to their schools and communities. Joyce is active in performing arts and cultural organizations. She also provides ongoing support to her daughter and family by raising her grandson in her home.