Installing healthy habits into my son’s little mind is something that I live for! So of course I couldn’t wait until the time came to get him started with CHORES. Yes, CHORES a word hated all over the world by both adults and children, but also a very necessary word! Growing up in my early childhood days my mom did all the chores (because she is such a perfectionist, and wants everything a “certain way”), then when I hit my preteen years she started trying to make me do chores and it just didn’t go over well! Eventually once I grew up I understood all the values and things she was trying to teach me, but I also knew that I was going to start giving my children chores early, so by the time they are preteens it will be something they are use to and I won’t have to argue with my 12 year old over washing the dirty dishes everyday.
The good thing about starting your kids early is that most 2-4 year olds love to play helper. Helping out around the house gives your child a sense of accomplishment and pride and helps them learn practical skills, It also teaches responsibility and gives them confidence by making them feel important by contributing to the household. My son is only 3 years old so I’m definitely not expecting him to always be on his P’s and Q’s and have everything spotless, My purpose here is to instill him with these healthy habits. Harnessing this natural impulse makes starting chores easy, and as he grows he can manage more complex tasks and start doing some independently. So starting your child with chores can be a lot easier than expected, just remember these little tips:
- Find Age Appropriate Tasks – Don’t have your 2 year old folding towels, because 9 times out of 10 they will get frustrated and unwilling to follow through. Keep it simple and fun so your kids will want to continue to help out, and once one set of skills are mastered add on another. (Don’t overwork your baby) One chore at a time and tell them specifically what to do so they don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Start with the
ObviousBasic Responsibilities – Believe it or not brushing teeth, Using the potty, Washing hands, and self-dressing are like “chores to me” these are in the same category of things they have to do to learn social responsibility, once they have these down pack then you can add household chores to the mix.
- Parents Fall Back – Let that child make that bed on their own, I know it may not be a pretty sight, but it will get better with time just remember the bigger picture (Healthy Habits). Even though it may seem difficult to see your child struggle to do these things on their own, just let them. You will actually be surprised at what they can do themselves and it gives them that confidence that you are not going to come fix every little mistake they make.
Alexander’s Household Chores
- Making His Bed – This was the first household chore I ever gave him, because its simple and easy. So every morning after he wakes up he just pulls his bedspread back neatly. Of course it not nearly as neat as it could be if I did it, but I just leave it that way thought the day, and honestly I’m already seeing improvement in the way he makes the bed. An added plus is now he is getting so use to doing it I don’t have to remind him about it, he is just doing it himself! (YEA😁)
- Cleaning his Room – My son actually already hates this chore, but we have come to a mutual agreement that when he is playing with his toys that he immediately puts his stuff back away before he pulls out something else to play with, and that rule in itself keeps his room clean throughout the day. His main task are just making sure he put his clothes/pajamas for the day into his dirty hamper, and make his bed. He know’s that everything has a place and exactly where those places are ( I test him sometimes lol). Sometimes his room still gets crazy and I just remind him that he needs to clean up before he can continue to play (Look I’m not trying to hurt myself or have him hurting himself by falling over on one of his many toys scattered across the floor. I just Cant!). His room has to be clean and now it always is.
- Helping mama with the Laundry – I never intentionally meant to make this into a chore at this time, but he just loves helping me so much with the laundry that I couldn’t resist! He helps me separate the whites, colors, and dark clothes, then TOGETHER we go over to the washing machine (he stands on a chair), I hand him the clothes and he places them in the machine, Together we add the washing detergent, discuss what temperature the water needs to be, and finally he pushes all the buttons to start the cycle. Once the load is done he places the clothes into the dryer and starts it (supervised of course). I still fold
- Feeding the Pets – We have a dog (Sassy) and our 2 fish we won at the state fair (Spotty & Daffy). It’s Alex’s responsibility to make sure they eat everyday, and I’m so proud to say that he loves feeding both the fish and the dog, he never forgets about them.
- Helping daddy with loading the Dishwasher-After dinner Alex gets to help daddy load the dishwasher. Of course daddy handles all the glassware and sharp objects, while Alex usually loads all of his bowls, plates, spoons, etc. Then he places in the dishwasher tab and presses the start button.
- Give your child any cleaning products.
- Have them around really hot water.
- Have them around Stovetops.
- Handle sharp objects.
That’s all the chores he does around the house for now. Hopefully I don’t sound like a complete control freak in this post, because I’m far from that. I’m just so passionate about teaching my son these healthy habits early, and honestly I’m so pleased with the outcome so far (Hopefully he keeps it up). And its also a plus that I have a few less chores to do around here myself. In my eyes its a win for both of us! Do you have any chores for your little ones? If so let me know the age and the chore.