Wednesday 26 August 2015

Choosing Age-Appropriate Chores for Young Children

Do your children do chores yet? Helping out around the house is a great way to connect with the family and learn a bit of responsibility, but when children are young it’s hard to know how and when to get them involved. From about preschool age, children can start pitching in with regular chores, and here are a few ideas to get started.

Benefits of Chores
There’s a world of benefits to assigning chores that goes beyond just having a tidy house! Letting kids pitch in is a good way to build their self-esteem, for starters. They'll feel like an important member of the household and will feel a sense of pride when they help mummy out. Taking part in regular chores also builds good habits, in addition self-esteem. Your kids are more likely to grow up seeing work as something to be proud of, rather than something to dread. For more ideas on how to foster self-esteem from an early age, you can also take a look at these child care courses at Simple household tasks are also a great way to build motor skills and work on organizational skills as your children learn and grow.

Age-Appropriate Chores
Of course, it’s not reasonable to expect your two year old to be able to wash all of the dishes and mop the floor just yet! If you assign chores that are extremely difficult for a child, it can have the opposite effect, and just create more work for you. So with this in mind, it’s a good idea to keep chores simple at first. For children under the age of five, this probably means just assigning 1-2 tasks per day, each not taking more than 10-15 minutes or so. Here are some ideas that could be performed by children aged 2-5:

•  Setting or clearing the table
•  Tidying up toys
•  Dusting
•  Feeding pets
•  Making the bed
•  Watering plants
•  Using a small vacuum cleaner
•  Pulling weeds in the garden
•  Helping measure ingredients

These are just a few ideas. You can adapt this list as needed for your household – just be sure to keep it consistent.

Tips for Success
Is your child less than thrilled about their new duty? Make it more fun by doing it together at first! Boys and girls are eager at this age to be just like mummy and daddy, so work together to make it a family activity. As their confidence grows, children will be proud to take over on their own over time. Another tip is to give your child the right tools. Buy a child-sized rake for working in the garden, or a personalised apron for helping out in the kitchen. Sticker charts or marble jars can be great motivators, or you could turn a longer day of tidying up into a family competition.
Have fun with it, and by taking the time to make chores a regular part of your child’s routine you'll be more likely to see positive behaviour down the road!

Until next time,
Jada x


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