Few months back I observed my little guy wanted to lend a hand in our daily home chores. He insisted on holding the mop or putting the clothes in the washing machine to feeding our pet. I thought it would just be a temporary phase and he would soon be bored of it. However, to my surprise my 20-month-old loves to be busy with these daily tasks and now it has become more of a daily fun routine for us. ( #momwin )
There are many benefits of house chore for kids. First and foremost, it is some Help after all !
But one of the main benefits is that giving my son his own special chores has made him more confident of his still developing skills. He feels valued and appreciated with the plenty of praise we offer him after he completed his chore. Also, he can concentrate longer and his sense of coordination has improved too. I have also used this opportunity to teach him the concept of responsibility from an early age by reminding him about the tasks he need to complete like cleaning up after play and feeding our pet a treat after a walk.
Before I share my list of chores I want to say that we should take the advantage of our child’s desire to imitate whatever we as parent work on at home. Children are natural imitators they learn everything by watching us. Therefore, it is so important to allow them to watch you work from the time they are born. Modeling how work should be done and assisting your child can be tough. Sometimes it can even be painful. But by asking them to leave you alone when you are doing a chore, might send an idea that they are not good enough or they don’t need to help, since mom will do everything for them.
I have realized young children love to feel useful and want to help around the house. I had read somewhere that
“Allowing them to help, even when it makes it harder for us, encourages this aspect of their nature. When we discourage them from helping, we eliminate this natural tendency.”
This left an impact on me and I worked with my son on this thought.
Below are few steps I recommend to engage your kid or toddler in your household chores. You can also make a chore chart for older kids. At the end of this post I have one image that you can save or Pin.
Simply invite and allow your child to help. If your child is not interested… no problem. No pushing, forcing, or shaming. The kid will usually find something else to do, which is a win win situation.
Using kind works like please, thank you, very good … etc. matters. As all our kids want is to be like us and to please us
Guide your child on what he or she is doing. Help them help you.
Unless there is a safety issue, allow your child struggle and figure things out on their own whenever possible. Don’t help your child unless they absolutely need it.
And always praise their effort not their ability. I try to use phrased like “Thankyou Vir, you are doing a great job. I really appreciate the help” I know he will not understand all of it now, but he knows he is being appreciated and will associate the words as positive reinforcement.
Below are a few home chores ideas we introduced to our son in past few months-
- Toys Clean Up – Once my son is done playing with his mega blocks or the plastic dinner wear in my kitchen’s pantry closet, I start repeating “Clean Up, Let’s Clean Up” and picking up the blocks, toys and putting them in their place. He follows along and once it’s all done we clap!
- Unload the Dish washer – I take out all the sharp knives and dangerous items, then ask my toddler to pass me the plates , spoons, spatulas from the dishwasher and sort them too. This way he is also learning the different kitchen items
- Sweep Up– With the swiffer and small broom, our son likes to brush up old cereal pieces and make a pile. He has seen me using our handheld vacuum cleaner and is also now reaching to hold it and to clean up the dirt we collected.
- Helping with laundry–I ask my son to get his dirty clothes from his laundry bin and place them one by one in the washing machine. Post which I put in the detergent and let him finally slam the door shut and press the button of the washing cycle. It’s obvious he likes the slamming most.
- Cleaning the high chair – I spray with water he wipes down the table Or vica-versa.
- Putting books away– We do a lot of reading in our family and mainly I like to read on the couch or the bed, so by the end of the day, there are usually several piles of books scattered around the house. He helps collect the books and bring them back to the right shelves or baskets.
- Throwing diapers and plastic wrappers– This is simple and self-explanatory. Also, now my son has started getting me all plastic wrappers and any bits and pieces of paper on the floor to throw away in the trash. Yesterday I saw him open the trash and throw his juice box after he was done.
- Watering the house plant – We recently started to do this. He likes to pour water and balance the cup so the water doesn’t spill. I give him a small plastic cup to water our house plant. This way he knows to care for the plant too.
- Fill the Pet’s dish– My son loves his furry brother “Rio”, he cares for him a lot and loves to share his toys and food with him every day. Once we are back from our daily walks he offers Rio a bone and fills in a fist full of kibbles in his dish for dinner.
Home life is one of the developmental domains of childhood along with language (reading), math, science, art, music, gross motor, fine motor, sensory, and social-emotional learning. The primary lesson of home life is learning how to help around the house and learn to become independent. Are you raising a Helper? Do share your thoughts in the comment below.