Wondering when the right time is to start passing the housework baton over to your kids?
Well, the good news is, studies show children benefit from doing chores in every way, academically, emotionally and professionally.
So next time you feel guilty asking bug-a-lugs to take the rubbish out, don’t! Just tell them they’ll thank you one day.
And the earlier you start, the better.
Toddler on Duty
It might feel like there’s not too much you can get your littlies involved in, but psychologists say every little bit helps them to feel responsible, instils competence and contributes to their wellbeing.
Getting your toddler to pick up their toys and put them in the toy box, is a great way to get them used to helping. They can also tidy their own clothes by putting them in a neat pile and taking the dirty ones to the washing basket. Have them help fold the tea towels or pair up the socks after the washing’s done. Perhaps give them a set place where their shoes always go, when you get home. My sister always had her little girl put the toilet rolls away. She loved it!
2. Setting the table
Have them put the cutlery on the table along with the salt and pepper, place mats, etcetera. If they’re like my child, the knives and forks will always be around the wrong way, but hey, they’re on the table and Johnny Junior will be super proud of himself.
This can be dusting the coffee table or wiping the bench. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s all about making a contribution to the household. After a meal, have them take their plate or bowl to the sink or dishwasher. Sometimes it might feel like you’re creating more work for yourself but in the long run, you’ll be pleased you persevered.
4. Making the bed
OK, so it might be stretching the friendship to expect a neatly made bed (and for quite some time to come) but at least have them attempt to pull the cover up and straighten the pillows. You don’t want a teenager who refuses to make the bed, right?
5. Pet caring
If you have a pet, it’s a must to get the kids involved in their care. Maybe they can help put the food in the bowl (and on the floor)! Have them go with you when you take the dog for a walk. If you have a rabbit, bird or fish, perhaps they can help clean the cage or tank. If it’s a pet that needs a lot of love and attention, encourage them to have special play time with their pet.
6. Self care
You might think this goes without saying but getting kids to dress themselves and clean their teeth can be a minefield at any age! If they can have a set routine for cleaning their teeth, with your help, it’s more likely to become a habit. It’s not easy for toddlers to dress themselves, but you can encourage them to make a start and then help them finish the task.
A garden is a great place for kids to really enjoy nature. Get them to plant their own herbs, vegetables and flowers and watch their little faces beam with pride when they grow. Have them water them along with other plants in the garden. Give your small person a dust pan and broom and have them sweep up the leaves.
Teach your toddlers the value of chores
No matter the chore, remember to keep it simple and be consistent. Make it fun and manageable for them now and you’ll be glad when they’re older and the messes they make are bigger.
Teach them from the start that chores aren’t about helping mum, but doing their bit to help the family function and you’re setting up good habits for a lifetime! Trust us, their future partners will thank you.
And if they’re not having a bar of it on any particular day, don’t sweat it … just take a break and take a look at these 15 Super Important Things to Tell Yourself on Those Sh*t Days!