When your children are little and want to do everything mommy does be sure and encourage and harness that excitement!
Little children just love to follow mommy (and daddy) around mimicking housekeeping chores and basically anything else you do. It's the perfect time to start, slowly, teaching them to care for themselves and the things around them.
Gently introducing your child to the art of homekeeping is both a gift for you and for them. For you it is a precious time to make many memories of times shared together and the wonder of learning. For them it is a gift that will carry them through life as they perfect their newly learned skills and fend for themselves as young adults and eventually keepers, in one sense or another, of their own homes.
Toddlers and young children are always looking for something to get into. Many a mother has beat her head against the wall thinking of ways to keep the little ones busy while they get some work done.
I'm asking you to lower your standards a bit for the perfectness of your home and invite your little one to spend some time with you. Then when they're tuckered out and taking a nap you can put everything to rights again. Yes this may seem like lots of work but the time goes fast so take it while you can.
Start by consider what your youngest child is capable of doing around the home. Young children often love setting the table and learning where to place the knife, fork, spoon, napkin, plate, and cup. Young children also like to help with cooking – let them break the spaghetti, stir the soup, measure the rice, or sprinkle the cheese on top.
Small children can help sort the laundry and carry it to the laundry room. You might prefer to actually add the soap and select the settings yourself so that you don't come back later to find suds all over the floor. But someday your child will make the same mistake – why not learn at home? Folding laundry is something all children can do. Your youngest can begin with simple things like dish towels and socks and then move up to t-shirts, jeans and bed sheets.
Now keep some things in mind…
- Sure things won't get done perfectly.
- I might take you twice as long to fold the clothes.
- Some messes may result from this “extra help”.
But it will pay off in many ways…
- Bonding with your children.
- Teaching them to care for themselves and their surroundings.
- Teaching them to care for others.
- Helping them become self sufficient?
- Learning the value of hard work.
It is important for children of even at very young age to feel important to the family. Chores help them do this. Even a very small task will give a child a sense of accomplishment and they will feel like they really are contributing something to his household.
We're not talking about working your children like slaves, but there is something to be said for teaching your children the value of hard work at a young age. By teaching your child to work hard, even at small tasks, you are preparing him for the future.
Putting forth the extra effort now will make your job so much easier down the road.
Take it slow
Housekeeping Tools for Tots
Montessori Services has a lot of wonderful items just made for little hands.
Here are some of the things for cleaning I bought Sweet Peanut when she was 3. By the way she still (at age 9) uses all of them…
Visit Some More Awesome Blogs this April!
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind ~ Fieldtripping Fun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road ~ Great Kids Reads
Shalynne @ Wonderfully Chaotic ~ Birth and Babies
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ Canadian Teachers Pay Teachers Stores
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling