Chores are far more critical than most parents would like to believe. The goal with chores isn’t to take the workload off of you. The goal is to set it in your child’s mind that they have to do work every day.
We’re not talking about working your child until the point of exhaustion. The thing you’re trying to avoid is for them to be lazy later on in life. Rarely does anyone come right out and say that’s the reason why you want your children to do chores. But it’s the truth.
You don’t want your children to end up being lazy bums. Having children do chores is one way of distilling in them a work ethic that they’ll have for the rest of their lives.
Here we’re going to give you some chores that almost all children can do. None of these are difficult, but they can instill a work ethic in your child from an early age.
Folding and putting away laundry
Laundry is one of those things that you always seem to be doing. You always wonder how can there be so many dirty clothes. It’s something every family has to deal with. Folding and putting away laundry is a great chore for a child.
It doesn’t require much work, and it’s something they can do fairly easily. If your child has a dresser that’s difficult to open or the drawers are high, you’ll have to help them with that. You may only want to tell them to fold the clothes if putting them away is too difficult.
Organize their toys
How many times have you stepped on a Lego? You’re laughing right now. You’ve stepped on Legos far more times than you can count. A great daily chore is to have your child put away their toys.
Make sure to teach them how to neatly put away their toys in a way that they can be easily found later on. Putting the toys away makes no sense if they’ve got to empty them all over the floor to find their favorite thing to play with. This is also a task that instills a sense of organization in them.
Help move things from the dinner table to the kitchen
Children love to help after meals are eaten, and this is a great little task they can do. They can collect the plates and other things from the dining room and take them into the kitchen.
This is one of those tasks that are probably better for kids who can reach the table. Also, you’ll want to be careful when having them carry anything made out of glass or sharp things like forks and knives. But, there’s no reason why they can’t carry plastic cups or anything that can’t be broken.
Have children pick stuff up off of the floor
Right now you probably have all kinds of things on the floor that doesn’t include toys. Those things could be clothes, newspapers, or fur from the cat. A quick scan of the floor is all it takes to see what needs to be picked up.
It’ll help your child burn some calories, and you’ll save your back as well. You’ve already bent over more times than you can count today and this is a task that’s perfect for the little one. Pretend that you’re on a treasure hunt and everything they find is worth more than gold.
Don’t push your children to do too many things
Some people say that a four-year-old can run a vacuum cleaner. That sounds kind of stupid, to be honest. You also don’t want your child operating the dishwasher or anything like that. Sure, it sounds great when you’re tired and have no energy.
It won’t sound like a good idea when you call a repairman because your dishwasher no longer works. Who knew that it was a bad idea to wash a bucket of sand from the sandbox? Children don’t know what they’re doing and you’ve got to keep an eye on them.
The most important takeaway from all of this is to make sure the chores fit the age and abilities of your child.
Don’t ask a five-year-old to drive down to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread. You want to give them tasks that they can complete. Also, it’s important that you praise them for a job well done. Don’t let any well-done job go without praise. It will make them feel good to know that their hard work is appreciated.
There is a fine line between having your children do chores and turning them into robots. Age-appropriate chores are okay as long as they don’t get in the way of their schoolwork or personal lives.
Yes, it’s crucial that a child has a personal life that includes things like playing with friends and spending time with relatives. If the chores get in the way of that, then you’re harming their social skills and this will have a significant negative impact later on in their lives.