My husband grew up in a family where chores were expected. He is patient, wise and hardworking.
I never did chores, and I was a bossy spoiled little brat. (I've grown up a little bit, but not a lot.)
Am I saying that we are a reliable case study, thereby proving that children who are taught to do age appropriate chores turn out to be more responsible? with a good work ethic? and ruggedly handsome? Yes, yes I am.
Here is a list of seven chores that my daughters, ages 4 and 2-and-a-half, are expected to do.
1) Make their bed. Every morning. I don't expect perfection, but their sheets need to be pulled up and their pillows and dolls and stuffed animals all need to be piled on neatly.
2) Pick up their toys. I have baskets on a shelf in the living room in which their toys are stored. There is a separate shelf for books. If your going to expect your toddler to be able to put their toys away, keep it simple.
3) Put their dirty clothes in the hamper. I need to remind them. Often. But that is part of training our children. You can either tell them a billion times when they are four or you can tell them ten billion times when they are fourteen.
4) Set the table. Start by having them lay out serviettes for each family member and move up from there. My kids fight over who gets to set the table.
5) Sort laundry. Kids love this.
6) Put their own laundry away. This is by far my favorite. I don't even fold the clothes. I just make a pile of laundry for each child and then hand it to them. They fold it and put it away. They adore this chore. My four year old is very careful to fold things nicely and stack things carefully in the right drawer. My younger daughter is a little less precise, but most of her clothes end up in the right drawers.
7) Wipe up their own spills. I keep a bunch of bar-mop towels in a drawer in the kitchen. If the kids spill their juice, they know that they are expected to get a towel and clean it up.
A few notes about teaching your children to do chores:
- You have to actually teach them to do the chores. Don't just tell them to go make their bed and expect them to know what that means.
- Be a good example. Your children will be much more apt to make their beds if they've seen mommy make her bed!
- Don't expect perfection. After all, they are just kids!
- Do expect them to do their best. Teach your children to take their responsibilities seriously.
- Don't be tempted to do everything for your kids just because you can do it faster and better. Your priority is to train up your child, not to have a perfectly ordered sock drawer.
So, tell me....what have i missed?