Wednesday, September 17

PUT THOSE KIDS TO WORK!

Household chores help your little ones learn responsibility—and helps you finally finish that to-do list. Nobody likes chores, which is exactly why you shouldn’t have to do all of them yourself. Instead, recruit your children to pitch in on a daily
or weekly basis. Your house will be tidier, and they will learn about responsibilityand why you’re so tired all the time!

Of course, sending your 4-year-old to change the light bulb isn’t really what I have in mind. However there are age appropriate chores for every age. Check out the ideas below.






2- to 4-Year-Olds: Start ‘em when they’re young! Toddlers can take on simple tasks like filling the family pet’s food bowl and putting clothes in the hamper. In the kitchen, they can sort flatware and set napkins on the table. Most important, they can put their own toys away, which means no more Lego minefields for Mom and Dad to navigate. 



TIP: Praise your child’s effort instead of perfection. Offer a “Great start, keep going!” while the chore is in progress, and a “Good job!” when it’s done, whatever the outcome. After you’ve modeled the job once or twice, resist the urge to jump in and take over.






5- to 7-Year-Olds: Armed with improved motor skills and concentration, school-age kids feel like they can conquer the world. At this age children can put away groceries, set and clear the table, water plants, unload utensils from the dishwasher and use a hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs crumbs. Budding chefs can fix a bowl of cereal and peel vegetables with a safe vegetable peeler. This age group can also make their beds, sweep floors, dust and sort laundry. If you have a garden, let young green thumbs weed, rake and plant alongside you. 



TIP: Youngsters this age can follow a chore chart. Sit down together and talk about the tasks that keep your household humming, then assign each child a few daily jobsclear the dishes, tidy up the toy area.







8- to 10-Year-Olds: Imagine: A load of laundry done, folded and put away—without laying a finger on the washing machine. It’s possible! Bigger kids can complete simple laundry loads, as well as vacuum, mop, wipe windows and walk small pets. In the kitchen, work side by side with your child to cook meals—though he or she can take full responsibility for simple dishes like toast and sandwiches—and load the dishwasher together when you’re done. 


TIP: Don’t micromanage. Constantly checking the status of a chore "Did you do the dishes yet?!" undermines trust. Ditch tight deadlines like "You must make your bed by 8 a.m.!", in favor of consequence-based reminders like, "After you make your bed, you can play outside." Rewards are huge incentives. 






11 and Up: Tweens and teens are capable of regular jobs like ironing, loading and unloading the dishwasher and changing sheets, as well as bigger projects like cleaning out the garage, mowing the lawn, polishing silver, cooking an entire meal and washing the car. Kids this age may have some problem-solving experience, so talk through your expectations, then let them decide how to tackle the task. Independence is really key at this age. You are preparing them for the real world. Praise them for their efforts.


TIP: Consider adding a financial upside to family chores. Teenagers LOVE money! Offer an allowance or a per-chore reward that can be spent on something of their choosing. 






Children who work at a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school and later on in life. You only have them for 18 years, teach them to become responsible and productive adults. Really......you'll be glad ya did!




    4 comments:

    1. great tips! My daughter is 6 and LOVES cleaning, she must get it form her dad because I dread it lol. I think if you make it fun for them they get interested in doing chores and do not look at it like its horrible work that has to be done, like I do haha. Great post!
      Jess http://www.liverandomlysimple.com

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      1. I tend to let my kids do the things they enjoy doing the most. That way I know they won't hate me and they will tend do get their chores done without much fuss!

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    2. Might I also add...chores help prepare you for running your own household someday! When I went to college, I was shocked how few people knew how to do laundry, particularly boys. My mom taught my brother to do his laundry in middle school!

      Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings : )

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      1. Megan you are so right! I taught my son how to make 5 different meals, wash and iron his clothes and a few other tidbits. Now that he's married he's the one that is cooking!

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