Is your child ready to start helping you with chores around the house? You can tell if a child is ready by the way they want to help. They will start asking you to help more and they’ll become more interested in what you are spending your time doing.
My kids each have chores that they need to do, to help out. In fact, my twins have been putting away their own laundry since they were 4 years old. At that time, they wanted to help, so I relinquished the control completely over to them.
Here are five ways to introduce chores to your child
#1. Help a mama out
Your child can be introduced to chores by simply helping you out. This will take a lot longer than you imagined, but it will be well worth it in the end. By helping mama out, your children are learning so much. Have them help you carry a load of laundry from one room to the next. Show them how to put toys away or pick up something off of the floor. Early on you’ll find that your kids mimic your actions, so lead by example. For instance, “I’m done with my cup, so I’m going to clean it up and take it to the dishwasher”
#2. Start very small
Kids get excited about learning new things. Although you wouldn’t mind your child jumping full force into the chore realm, it’s best to start small. Give them small tasks to do and see how they do. Just remember that kids are still kids and starting small helps them maintain their childhood and still learn a little responsibility.
#3. Praise does matter
If your child doesn’t do something right, the worst thing you can do is tell them. Make sure you are praising your child as much as possible when it comes to doing chores. Most kids want to start out with chores on their own, but they often lose their excitement. You can really introduce kids to how exciting chores are by making sure they know how great of a job they’re doing. I had to bite my tongue when my twins first put away their laundry solo, but they did the best they could, and they were praised for that.
#4. Have them follow directions closely
It’s not often the chore is the actual difficult part, but listening before the chore. Have your child practice listening to what you say before they go off to do the chore. By having them do small chores, one at a time, you are also teaching them about the value of listening to directions and comprehending.
#5. Being choosy is okay
One of the best ways you can introduce chores to a child is to give them a choice. Asking them something like “would you rather vacuum or pick up toys.” After they have picked their choice, they can go ahead and finish it. Sometimes chore charts work for kids and other times they don’t. Just remember at how moody adults can be when it comes to completing chores. Having a choice really does make it a lot more fun.
As the mom or dad, you know what your child is capable of doing for chores. Here are some ideas to help you move along in the chore department:
Ages 1-2 – Your child can follow you around helping with chores, maybe picking up a toy here and there. This should be self lead though and not enforced. Again, you know your child best and what they’re capable of.
Ages 3-4 – This age gets a little more responsible and specific in what they can do. Picking up toys, making a bed, helping to carry in the mail, and even picking up dirty clothes are all great chores.
Ages 5-6 – At this age, kids are starting school and getting a little busier with their lives. Encourage them to help with chores around the house by giving rewards and praise (maybe even an allowance). This age is a little more flexible in what they can do from vacuuming to folding clothes and wiping the table after dinner. You can help determine specific chores based on your child’s capabilities.
Does your child do chores?