How old should my kids be before asking them to help out around the house? This is a common question among many parents. To some, training a child to help with household chores is overwhelming. Such parents find it easier to get the work done themselves. What they do not realize is teaching your kids to love helping out instills discipline and important values about work in your child. You should start as early as possible to teach these lessons.
Involving your children with chores helps them to become responsible, understand the value of hard work, acquire useful skills and be more appreciative. Don't you want children who know these lessons early on in life?
If your children do not learn these lessons at home, then they are likely to learn the hard way, out in the world. So, how can you train kids to help at home without making them feel like are being punished? Here are some tips:
1. Be specific with your instructions
Describe the different things you want your child to do to accomplish. Instead of saying, "tidy up the house" you can tell them to pick up their clothes, fold them, arrange them in their closet, and so forth. Using specific examples will help eliminate confusion.
2. Incorporate games
This is a great way of getting your children love chores. Also, it can motivate them to do a great job and do it quickly, especially if there is a reward. For instance, if you want your kids to put away things around the house, set a timer and make it a competition. See who can pick up the most items and give a prize to the winner. Make sure to be specific with the different items they need to collect. Keep thinking of difficult challenges to keep your kids interested; yesterday's game might not work today.
3. Prepare a to-do list for them
This can work for kids who already know how to read. Come up with a list of the things you want him or her to do, but always include time for play. When coming up with the activities you want your child to do, be mindful of their age. To motivate your kids to get chores done, create a colorful chart complete with pictures that shows the different chores.
4. Suppress the urge to redo their work
Remember, you are encouraging your kids to want to help out. If you clean after them, you are implying they didn't meet your expectations. Consequently, they won't feel like helping out again since you can always do better. Avoid this by giving your children tasks you don't mind being done not so perfectly.
5. Show genuine appreciation
Appreciation encourages your children to want to learn more. Besides, everyone feels good when they know they are being helpful in some way. Even if you want to make corrections, congratulate them first for a job well done. Support them on their journey to learning how to become responsible adults.
Learn these skills as early as possible. Of course it is important to understand what your child can and cannot do depending on their age. Even 2-3 year olds can put their shoes and toys away.
What tricks have you used on your children to make them love helping you out?