Just about all parents wish to instill in their kids the desire or willingness to help out at home and to contribute to the family (and to people in general).
Having your children do chores is both an efficient way of tidying up your home and a crucial part of raising happy, confident children who become productive and conscientious adults.
Pretty much any time someone sees a child pitching in with some kind of task, you can count on an observer to say, “Start ’em young!”
Elmer’s Chem-Dry is here to help you know how to enlist the troops! We’ve included several things for you to consider as you implement an all-hands-on-deck culture in your family. We’ve also included an age-appropriate list of chores.
Get Your Little Ones Involved With Chores They Want To Help With
No matter how quiet and peaceful or loud and hectic your home is, the same rule tends to apply. A cleaner home is a healthier and happier home. If you have/ever had a toddler that didn’t occasionally (or always) make everything a disaster, we don’t know how you did it. When you have toddlers to clean up after, bedrooms are messy and shared living spaces can be chaotic.
Starting at a very young age, children love to watch and imitate their parents and older siblings. Yes, even when they’re doing chores. They are often incredibly eager to “help” and it seems to be a lot easier to occupy your kids with something else while you get your housework done. However, you should take advantage of their desire to learn by doing and it will pay off in the long run. Be sure to attach chores with positive feelings by spending time with them and praise them for helping out while they’re little.
Give Them Age and Ability Appropriate Chores
You want to give your kids chores that can be a bit of a challenge but still within their ability to accomplish. When you let children help with things that they perceive as tasks “big people” do, you boost both their independence and self-esteem. When you give your kids responsibility, you’re letting them know that you trust and can count on them.
Give Them Chores They Can Do Well (Enough)
In order to avoid undermining any positive psychological benefits of your children doing their chores, do your best to not correct the job they’ve done. Give your guidance and input at the beginning and then your thanks and praise after. Make sure you’re only giving them cleaning tasks they can complete to a standard you can live with. The end goal is to help encourage rather than discourage or frustrate your child with each cleaning task.
Give Them Chores With Visible Results
You want to maximize the intrinsic reward of cleaning and organizing to your child. To do this, start by choosing some chores that have immediate and/or visible results. For example, putting away toys would provide a more noticeable result than dusting the shelves. Point out and emphasize how nice everything looks and how calm everything feels once the chore is done to really drive the point home.
The Best Chores for Elementary School Age Children
- Put dishes in the dishwasher
- Hand wash some dishes
- Sort laundry by color and/or type
- Wash and dry loads of laundry
- Fold laundry and put it away
- Wipe glass doors and windows
- Sweep off the front porch
- Set the table
- Clear the table and wipe it
- Unload the dishwasher
- Clean the bathroom
- Light yard work
- Collect trash from small trash cans
- Clean out the car
- Light dusting
- Clean baseboards
- Make snacks
- Make school lunches
- Take large trashcans to the curb and bring them back
The Best Chores for Toddlers
- Take dishes to the sink (or the counter by the sink)
- Wipe up spills
- Vacuum with toy vacuum
- Put toys away
- Place shoes where they belong, neatly
- Throw trash in the garbage can
The Best Chores for Preschoolers
- Straighten up shoes in mudrooms or entryways
- Feed pets
- Put dirty clothes in the washer, switch them to the dryer, and take them out of the dryer
- Put folded clothes away in their drawers
- Straighten up pillows on couches and chairs
- Fold simple laundry, like rags
- Pick up messy rooms
- Make bed
Turn it Over to the Professionals
While general cleaning tasks and vacuuming are essential, don’t forget how important routine professional cleaning is to maintain a healthy home. Chem-Dry has been in the cleaning business for a long time and understands what your Lavaca home needs. As a trusted professional cleaning service, Elmer’s Chem-Dry can clean your carpets, rugs, tile, upholstery, remove pet stains & odors, and more! Check out the rest of Elmer’s Chem-Dry blog posts here.