Children and chores

November 13th, 2011by admin

Introducing your child to the concept of doing chores can sometimes be a little tricky. At what age should you start asking your kids to help out around the house and how do you deal with the “I don’t want to” tantrums?

In my experience the earlier you can encourage your children to be helpful the easier it will be in the future.

For example asking a child to put a yogurt pot in the trash after they have eaten it will help them to understand what the trash can is there for and what they do with rubbish. You will find that at the age of about 1 ½ to 2 years old they actually enjoy doing tasks like this.

Another example would be encouraging them to put their toys back into the toy box when they have finished playing with them. You can try and make the packing away process fun by telling them that they need to put their toys to bed and encouraging them to say goodnight. It may take your child some time to put away each toy and as parents it is much quicker for us to do it, but getting them to do it themselves will pay dividends in the future.

Your child will watch you complete everyday tasks and you will probably find that they want to help. This should be encouraged and you could even buy them some ‘house’ themed toys such as a dustpan and brush which they can use to ‘help’ you.

It can be a bit more difficult with children who are around the ages 3 to 4 as they have probably learned to say no and be a little more independent. One of the key things that you should do is make the chores as fun as possible and adopt some kind of reward system. Get them to help brush down the table or dry the (plastic) pots with a children’s themed tea towel that will be fun for them to use. Stick a brightly colored star chart on the fridge and give them shiny stars every time they complete a chore. A reward could be a special desert, something exciting that they wouldn’t normally have.

If you can instil the principles of helpfulness into a child when they are young then they will carry through to adult hood. Even the best of children will have days where they are over tired and the simplest of requests can turn into a huge headache. It’s all part of parenting!

This article was written by Vicky Dean. Vicky works with the site She enjoys writing about all things parenting related especially school and school fundraising ideas.



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