Completing chores teaches children responsibility and makes them feel like theyre important contributors to the family. Parents sometimes dont ask their kids to help out because they think theyre too young, but children deserve more credit. Kids are often capable of much more than adults think they are.
When and How to Teach Kids to Do Chores
Start having your children complete chores when theyre toddlers. The earlier they learn that theyre expected to help out at home, the easier itll be to get them on board. A child whos expected to pitch in at a very young age will think its completely normal and be less likely to resist doing chores later.
Explain and demonstrate what you want your child to do. Make instructions as specific as possible. Then let the child try the task while you supervise and offer guidance. Dont expect it to be done perfectly the first few times. The goal should be to teach your child to contribute and to clearly communicate your expectations. Praise the child for each step thats done correctly. With time and practice, your child will become more skilled and confident.
If a child is assigned a chore, make it clear when you expect it to be done. Dont provide too many reminders, because thatll feel like micromanaging to your child. On the other hand, you shouldnt allow a child to put off doing a chore and then throw up your hands in frustration and do it yourself. Set clear expectations, and give your child the chance to get it done.
What Types of Chores Can Your Kids Do?
A preschooler can handle chores that have one or two steps, such as placing dirty clothes in a hamper, putting away toys or feeding a pet. Kids who are a little older can learn to make a bed, wash plastic dishes, help clear the table after meals and water plants. A first or second grader can help set the table, sweep the floor, sort laundry, and clean up his or her bedroom. A child a bit older can help by vacuuming, loading the dishwasher, putting away laundry, mopping the floor and helping with meal preparation. A child 10 or older can be responsible for washing and folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, and changing sheets.
Teach Your Kids to Pitch in
Chores can help kids learn responsibility and make them feel like theyre valued members of the family. The earlier you start assigning your children chores, the better. Dont assume that your kids are incapable of doing things. They may be able to do a lot more than you think if you provide clear instructions, demonstrations and praise. Choose age-appropriate chores for your kids, and let them gradually take on more responsibility as they get older.
Published with permission from RISMedia.