Want to teach your kids to do some chores? Well, don’t ask your three year old to help you set the table as they can’t reach the top. Instead, ask them to help you get or match newly washed socks.
In delegating chores, you have to understand that every child is different. It is important to listen to them when they find that a task is too hard for them. Swap chores among your children. This will help you build a sense of trust and your child will believe you have actually listened to their request. Always pick a chore that you think will suit them and that they’re more comfortable in doing.
Here are some suggestions of chores your kids can help with:
For 3 year olds, you can ask their help in putting away one thing at a time or lathering up the dishes in the sink. Kids in this age range love mimicking adults on what they are doing. You can also ask them to deliver laundry or even pretend to dust with socks on their hands.
For children between 4 and 5 years of age, you can expect them to help in putting away all their toys, cleaning their rooms, setting and clearing the dining table, as well as help dust the table on cleaning day. You may also ask them to help with dinner to get them comfortable with tasks in the kitchen.
For kids aged 6 and 7, you can start assigning bigger tasks. Do you have a family pet? Ask them to help take them for a walk. Ask help in emptying the dishwasher, making lunches, and making their beds. They are also big enough to help fold laundry and help sort the recycling.
8 and 9 year olds are big enough to set the table by themselves. You may also assign some of the bigger tasks like hoovering or sweeping the kitchen floor. You may also ask them to help you in washing the car or raking leaves in the garden.
Kids aged 10 and 11 year should be able to help you with most tasks. From folding laundry, taking out the trash, putting away groceries, and starting the washing machine to lighten the load.
And of course for teenagers, you should expect them to help you in all tasks possible. By this age, they should be quite autonomous in their tasks and complete them according to standards.
Just a few more notes….
Make the tasks personal
Don’t let your children, especially small ones, to do tasks that will not benefit them. Make it personal so that your child understands why they are doing it. If they have to pick up their sister’s toys, they will most likely not do the task.
Give them feedback
It’s important to give kids feedback on the job they are doing. Never criticize as they are still in the learning process. If you reprimand and shout, or make them feel they can’t do the job, they won’t want to try again.
Make chores fun
We all remember how chores can seem to take forever if they’re dull, so the more fun you can inject the better. Make it a race. Competition can make things fun. But try your hardest not to make siblings pit against each other. Encourage them to beat their own time but always be aware of quality.
Offer an incentiveIncentives don’t have to be financial. Family outings, treat nights and play-dates are a good way to reward the efforts of the kids.
Ease up on your expectations
Don’t feel disheartened if delegating doesn’t work out from day. Everything is a learning process. Your kids will eventually adjust to their tasks and each chore will become easier to accomplish. Don’t get mad or frustrated if one child takes more time to learn simple tasks. Instead, encourage them and never get tired of teaching them until they pick up the pace.
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