Getting your children to participate in chores around the home at an early age is a great way to instill responsibility in their lives. According to Elizabeth Pantley, author of Perfect Parenting, assigning your children household chores is an effective way to instill feelings of competence, a positive attitude about work, self-esteem and good habits. Chores that involve sorting, concentration and motor skills allow children to practice and improve on these skills at a young age.
When selecting chores for your children to take part in, it is first important to determine which tasks are appropriate for your children based on their age. According to the experts, children in preschool can take on one to two simple tasks that mimic basic life skills. For instance, getting your children involved in putting away their toys is a great chore to start with. The best way to get your little one to clean up is to show and describe each step in the cleaning process in the most simplistic way possible. According to Briana Bennitt, executive director of Three Cedars School in Bellevue, children are more inclined to imitate and engage in activities that the grown-ups are doing. Therefore, if you are cleaning angrily, or display a happy demeanour when cleaning, your children will too!
Once you have determined an age appropriate chore for your little one, the next step is to decide when the task will be performed. According to ParentMap, the best time to have your child participate in a chore is right before bedtime. More often than not, in a busy household, chores are less likely to get done in the morning when parents are busy getting things ready for the day. Having the additional time before bed to teach your child a chore is much more effective.
Although many people do not enjoy doing chores, it’s important to make chore time fun for your children as well. According to ParentMap, it is very important to praise your children, and let them know how well they did when they complete a chore. Positive reinforcement or rewards such as TV time or snacks can help make a task more enjoyable for your child. ParentMap also suggests singing songs or playing music while doing their chores to make the task more fun.