Go Go Parenting Hacks – Incorporate Chores in Kid’s Daily Routine
Have you noticed how much young children like to be “helpers” and mimic adults as they vacuum, mow the lawn, or even dust? Although household chores can be dreaded tasks for adults, young children view them as “grown up” activities that they can also do. Incorporating chores in your young child’s daily routine provides opportunities for many valuable life lessons. Having assigned chores to complete teaches young children responsibility, gives them a sense of belonging, and shows them that they make valuable contributions to their family.
What are some age appropriate chores that young children can do independently or with little adult help? Here are some ideas:
Ages 2 – 5:
- Put toys away
- Feed the pets
- Dust with microfiber cloth (away from valuables)
- Get the mail from an outside mailbox
- Make their bed
- Put dirty clothes in hamper
- Wipe surfaces (table after eating, baseboards, or countertops)
- Match socks
- Fold towels
- Vacuum with a small hand-held machine
Here are some suggestions to help your child view chores as positive tasks instead of dreaded jobs:
Be specific: Instead of saying, “Dust the living room,” be sure to give specific directions such as, “Wipe each end table and the t.v. stand with this cloth.” Depending on the job, you may need to demonstrate a few times before your child catches on.
Do not be too critical: If your child has wiped the table after the dinner and you notice a crumbs left, do not be quick to criticize. If your child had tried their best you can thank them for their hard work and before they do the job again, mention that they should keep an extra eye out for crumbs. If you saw that they did not put forth their best effort to wipe it clean, you should suggest they do the job again, this time keeping an eye out for crumbs.
Be consistent: If children are only asked to do something some of the time, such as picking up after themselves, they will not develop the mind frame that this is an expectation. If children are punished for not meeting these unclear expectations, they will begin to view household work as a punishment and something to be dreaded.
Be positive: When they do a good job, be sure to thank your child for their hard work and express your appreciation for their help. The more appreciated a child feels, the more motivated they are to accomplish the next job. This positive reinforcement also confirms that their work is being valued.
Although some parents feel guilty having their children do chores, they are actually helping their child. It is important for children to have a sense of responsibility and to be able to accomplish simple tasks without feeling the need to have an adult’s assistance. Children will learn at an early age that they are valuable members of their family while learning skills they will need to be able to take care of themselves later in life.
Article information from:
Chore ideas and “Pitfalls to avoid when in comes to chores”:
Age-appropriate chore ideas: http://thehappyhousewife.com/home-management/age-appropriate-chores-for-kids-printable/