“The bathtub luckily for us,” she said,”is of white enamel, so it is easy to clean. But see all around it there is streak where the top of the water after somebody's bath this morning. Now of course, every single person who uses bathtub ought to wipe it out afterward; but men don't take the trouble and sometimes forget; little girls never do, course! So the tub has to be washed wiped out every morning.”
~A little housekeeping book for a little girl: or, Margaret's Saturday mornings
If you didn't know (or were wondering) chores are a good way to prepare your children for their future life. Having chores in the home gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It shows them the importance of working together as a family, and teaches them that this and all work can be rewarding. And your children are never too young to start with age appropriate jobs. So get going!
An Allowance to Go With Chores?
Giving your child an allowance to go along with their chores is strictly a persoal preference and can serve to teach them tow valuable life lessons in one activity. Teaching them about the value of money and hard word. Bu then again you may teach them that you must always receive money or some tangible good for every piece of work you do so think carefully before attaching an allowance to your child's chores.
Here are some steps to begin teaching chores with your child.
Make a list of all the details of the chore you want your child to do. It's nice if you type it up and make it attractive. Children respond positively to cute lists. I don't know about your child but my Sweet Peanut loves lists. Especially if they have checkoff boxes. Laminate it so they can check if off if they want and then erase later to repeat the process.
Have appropriate tools for your child to do the job. It helps if their just their size but if buying a whole new set of cute tools is not in your plan just make sure they can affectively use what you give them. A couple of years ago I got Peanut a little cleaning kit from a Montessori company. She loves it. It's cute. I fill the spray bottle with a vinegar mix and she cleans her bedroom, bathroom, and little school area when the mood strikes. The tools are small enough for her little hands and that inspires her.
Be sure to show your child how to do the chore and work with them for a few weeks side, by side. They will of course prefer it if mommy or daddy is always there doing the chore with them but we want to inspire them to work on their own and get the job done. Slowly move off to do other things. Maybe let them play their favorite tape while working. Use a time so it's a race to see who is done with their chore first. Use your imagination.
Encourage your child in their efforts. Be happy with the work is done as long as they've done their best. It won't ever be perfect but is yours? Example: Yesterday Sweet Peanut wanted to help me fold clothes. Yes I cringed and then handed her the basket. She would fold and I would put away. She was so happy helping and I was surprised how well a job she did. Since I dislike folding clothes I needed to squelch my perfectionizm and foster this interest.
Age Appropriate Chores
Ages Up to Four:
- Begin learning to put toys away
- Can help collect dirty laundry.
- Help take care of pets.
Ages Up to Seven:
- Helping to water plants and garden.
- Set the dinner table and clear their space
- Help to dry dishes and/or remove them from the dishwasher.
Ages Up to Ten:
- Make their own beds.
- Help to vacuum house
- Help to wash the car
Eleven and Up:
- Take out the garbage
- Learn to cook
- Can learn how to wash and dry clothes.
My final tip is to make sure when daddy comes home you both go on and on about how hard you worked taking care of the house.