Little Hands Can Help
We often plop children in front of a movie, or shuffle them off to play outside. Kids enjoy and benefit from unstructured play time. Besides play, kids have fun working with people they love. Working together at home builds relationships, gives a sense of accomplishment and even makes a dent in the household cleanup.
Parenting expert Dr. Wendy Mogel says:
"Helping out at home raises self-esteem: when parents insist that their kids do their chores, they are letting them know that they are not just loved, they are needed."
Start early, but if the child isn't physically capable, try an easier task. Don't force it. Work at a young age should be fun and manageable. The job should create a sense of accomplishment. Before you expect a job well done, it needs to be patiently taught. Don’t try to teach your child to wash the dishes well or clean the floor when you are in a hurry, or because you are expecting company.
Quickly praise their good efforts, especially if they are working cheerfully with a no-quit attitude!
Involving your children in household tasks will:
Give them a sense of personal responsibility
Remind them that it is their home too
Build a habit of caring about their space
Allow the joy of meaningful work
Help them practice lifelong necessary tasks
Give a greater appreciation for playtimeHere is a starting list of suggested household tasks for young hands.
You can add other great ideas that best suit your home:
Wipe down kitchen appliances
Throw things away
Fold small towels
Help set the table
Wash their toys in a soap-filled sink
Pick up toys
Put dishes away
Shuffle clothes from washer to dryer
Wash small loads of dishes
Dump dirty laundry
Water household and garden plants
Sweep floors and stairs
Dump rubbish bins
Wipe down walls and doorknobs
Help in the kitchenDo you have any other suggestions to add to the list?
Help chop vegetables and prepare meals
Take care of pets
Organize shelves and cabinets
Clean and vacuum out the car