How to Get Young Children Started with Chores
Are you struggling to get your children into the habit of doing household chores? While it is a common parenting challenge, take heart. It is possible to get your toddler or preschooler to help out. In some families, even kids as young as two years old are expected to do household chores. Not only that, but these children also do their chores willingly and cheerfully. Let’s look at why teaching chores is vital as well as provide age-appropriate suggestions that you can apply immediately.
The Value of Chores for Children
Teaching household chores is part of parenting. After all, you need to prepare a child to be a responsible person who contributes to both the family and society.
Chores become easier when all the members of the household pull their weight. Sharing housework helps families function better, prevents parental burnout, and frees up more time for activities that strengthen relationships.
Doing chores allows a child to acquire the skills that they need for independent life: cooking, cleaning, and so on. All that hands-on experience enhances your child’s fine and gross motor skills. Not only that, but kids also learn how to communicate, persevere, and delay gratification.
Competence and Initiative
You’ve probably heard your child claim, “I can do this by myself!” Doing chores will give them a sense of competence and a feeling of satisfaction from completing a task. Soon, they will initiate doing chores without being prompted.
How to Get Children Involved in Chores
Little children don’t automatically understand the value of doing household chores. It may also be challenging to compete with the TV and other distractions. But with these practical tips, you can help make chores a part of their everyday routine:
Use the Right Motivation
Some parents tie chores to a child’s allowance or screen time privileges, while others assign chores as punishment. However, you want children to get into the habit of doing chores without resorting to rewards or threats. Instead, children should view doing chores as their duty as family members. Otherwise, they will stop when external motivators disappear.
Start Them Young
Children aged 2 to 6 years old don’t understand abstract reasons for doing tasks. However, toddlers are eager to be involved in whatever you are doing. Take advantage of their enthusiasm. Make sure you are present as they do chores. Your child may not enjoy doing chores at first, but they love doing things with you. By giving them your undivided attention, you are giving your children more incentive to help out.
By cutting back on their time with electronics, your children will have enough time for chores. Set up a schedule that includes chores, screen time, and other activities so that kids know what to expect. Explain that chores need to be completed first before they can use their laptop or tablet. Make sure that the adults also follow this rule.
How to Assign Household Chores to Your Child
The key thing is to give your child age-appropriate chores. Your child will become frustrated with tasks that are too difficult, but tasks that are too easy will lead to boredom.
Know Your Child’s Abilities
Your toddler can already do simple tasks like wiping, sorting, dusting, and putting away things. A child aged 4 to 6 years old can help with sweeping, folding, making a bed, and some meal preparation tasks.Keep in mind that your toddler or preschooler may be too young for tasks that require using fire, electricity, or chemicals. Most of them are not ready to handle knives or breakables. Such chores are best for older kids who already have the needed dexterity and decision-making skills.
Ask Your Child to Complete Sub-Tasks
Divide a chore into smaller tasks, then show your child the correct order for doing things. A toddler may not understand that you must put in detergent first when doing laundry, or that dishes need to be rinsed off thoroughly after soaping. Let your young ones observe as you do household tasks. Accept that toddlers and preschoolers may take twice as long as to do a chore. You may also need to redo some of their work. Be extra patient.
Set a Time Limit
Are you losing your mind over your child’s dawdling? If you want to keep your sanity and teach time management skills, set a realistic limit for each task. Kids will be more motivated to complete a chore if they know that it has a definite endpoint.Use a kitchen timer or a phone alarm. This way, your child gets a sound cue to finish a task, and you avoid nagging them about it. Getting your child to complete chores shouldn’t become a battle.
Children thrive on encouragement. As they do household chores, remember to offer praise and express thanks. They are just starting, so choose your words carefully when correcting their efforts. Remember, this strategy pays off in the long run. You can make chores both fun and meaningful for young children if you follow these proven tips. Check out these chore charts – sure to help keep your child on track.