Teaching Kids to Help Out Around the House

Washing dishes

Lately my kids have been wanting more and more items it seems.  So, I figured it was about time they started working for the items they want.  I’m ususally the one to take care of most of the matters at home as I’m sure you are too. I guess we moms just do that naturally but it’s time for me to take a step back and let my family help out too.

My kids are old enough to help out with chores and be rewarded for them.  They are also learning about money in school so it ties in nicely with their current learning as well as teach them responsibility.  Usually you’ll find that the younger they are the more willing they are to lend mommy a helping hand but it gets a little tougher as they get a little older.

For children as young as two or three helping mommy or daddy out is a fun way to spend time with mommy and daddy so it’s the perfect time to begin teaching them to do their part in helping the family run smoothly.  Giving children tasks that are age appropriate will increase their desire to help out.  If you give a two or three year old a task that they can’t easily perform they will simply get frustrated and not want to help out.

Right now we are working on taking care of the laundry in our house.  My kids are doing a great job at sorting the laundry by colors, putting everything including the laundry soap (which I prepare for them and supervise) into the washer.  Once the wash is done it’s time to remove everythign fromt he washer and get it into the dryer.  This is where they learn to work together.  Brother is taller and can reach into the washer to get the clothes out and he hands them to sister who puts then into the dryer.  After the drying is done it’s time again to take everything out and once mommy folds or hangs it, it’s their responsibility to take the items and put them all where they belong. 

Not only does this teach them responsibility, and give them an understanding of how much work mommy does, it also teaches them to work togheter to accomplish their goal.  The financial reward they get is no where near the value they are learning now that will continue on in their lives long after the financial reward is spent.

Start with something small and reward your kids.  Mine I have a goal they want to reach and that is incentive in itself.  Here are just a few things you can consider trying with your kids to get them started with or without a reward.

During these winter months toddlers can be responsible for their winter articles such as gloves and hats.  Make it their “job” to make sure their gloves are in their coat pockets when not in use so they don’t get lost.

Early school aged children can help carry bags into the house. PUtting groceries away is a favorite task in our house. Taking the trash out (with some help) to the trash can is another easy task a young child can tend to.

A family pet is everyone’s responsibility: walking him, taking him out when he/she needs a trip outside, bathing and feeding your pet.

Teens may be a little more verbal about not wanting to do chores but remind them along with responsiblities comes rewards.

Personally, I think one of the most important things we can teach our children is how to be responsible, self-caring adults and the earlier we begin teaching our kids how to be responsible the better. And to encourage continued help, be sure the tasks you assign your children are age appropriate.

 

Creative Commons License photo credit: zordroyd

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