Joseph, six, and Aliyah, five, even asked their mum if they could go back and keep litter picking (Picture: Mercury Press)
A mum who’d had enough of her kids’ bickering has come up with an unusual way of teaching them respect – by putting them on ‘community service’.
Katie Al-Malik, 35, said it was the ‘last straw’ when her two children, six-year-old Joseph and Aliyah, five, started becoming ‘disrespectful’ while stuck at home during the
Easter half-term break.
One day, while heading out to the shops, she warned Joseph and Aliyah they weren’t allowed any treats as punishment for their poor behaviour.
But when Aliyah picked up a litter picker in B&M and asked if she could have it, the mother had a stroke of genius.
The mum agreed but insisted it would be put to ‘good use’ and vowed to send them out near their home in Liverpool to clean up the streets.
‘I’ve always tried my best to raise them right, and as kids often do, they were bickering, stuck inside because of lockdown,’ she said.
‘Later that day I went to B&Q and got us some hi vis vests and told them what we were going to do,’ continued Ms Al-Malik.
Passersby even stopped to thank the children for their hard work (Picture: Mercury Press)
‘I wanted to teach them that it’s important to be respectful and that sometimes they will need to work together to get things done.’
Ms Al-Malik even branded the hi-vis vests with the message “my mum put me on community service” – prompting passersby to thank them for their work.
The mum said: ‘I think they were a little embarrassed at first wearing the hi-vis vests but after a while they really started to get into it.
‘People were walking past and stopping to say well done and thanking them for taking the time to clean up the streets.’
After just one day of ‘community service’, Aliyah and Joseph asked their mum if they could go back out to keep helping the community.
They have so far cleaned up 12 bin liners’ worth of rubbish in their local area and the mother is happy her plan seems to be working.
The mum said she’d had enough of her kids’ bickering during the Easter break (Picture: Mercury Press)
To the mother’s surprise, the children enjoyed the task and have been out every day since helping the community (Picture: Mercury Press)
‘We’ve been back out nearly every day this week and I’ve never had such a quiet house,’ said the mum.
‘Their bedtime routine is so much smoother, they’re ready and willing to get into bed by 8.30pm every night and they are being kinder to each other.’
While the mother has faced one or two comments of criticism for her method, the majority of parents have applauded her and said they’ll be doing the same with their children.
‘They’ve been helping each other with the litter picking during the day,’ said Ms Al-Malik.
‘I think it has brought them closer together and taught them to be respectful of their environment and others.’
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