Household Chores and Younger Children
Few adults enjoy household chores but the good news is, younger children often do and getting them involved can be hugely beneficial for their development.
So, it’s worthwhile making some effort on this one.
Getting children to help with household chores – a little mean?
We sometimes hear parents dismiss getting children to help on the basis that it is a parent’s job to look after their kids.
That is true to a large extent but the point of getting children to help isn’t about them making a major contribution to the daily household routine. It’s about encouraging them to participate in a shared activity with others and one that leads to mutual benefit.
By doing so, you’re helping them to improve their social interaction skills and to develop a sense of responsibility. These are values that will serve them well when they start school or even some pre-school activities.
Nobody is suggesting for a moment that a three-year old should be expected to clean windows or vacuum through the house! However, even in the 3-4 age range, most children should be capable of lending a hand in areas such as:
- tidying their toys;
- cleaning up after they’ve been painting or engaging in other forms of ‘messy play’;
- setting the table for lunch/dinner;
- some forms of washing-up (no sharps or breakables of course);
- preparing and cooking food (though try not to portray this as a chore);
- carrying their dirty clothes to the washing basket;
You may be surprised to find that your younger children will, initially at least, be very enthusiastic about helping with household chores. In fact, some may carry that on with them through their earlier school years though if you discover how to maintain that into their teenage life, it would be worth patenting your methods!
The reason is that younger children love imitating parents. They’ll have watched you doing those chores many times and will be bursting at the seams for the chance to have a go themselves. It’s also a chance for them to think they’re grown-up and also to get praise from their parents – something again most younger children are desperate for.
As such, for household chores it follows:
- make them sound like fun. Ok, it’s a half-truth but……..;
- praise your children for joining in and their work, even if their efforts aren’t massively helpful;
- participate yourself and make sure you and your child have a good joint laugh and joke as you work;
- don’t remonstrate with them on a given day if they don’t feel like joining in. Just like any of us, children can have an off-day where they can’t be bothered. In these cases, it’s best to leave them be because they may be fine about helping again tomorrow;
- their efforts should never be criticised, even if they were rather less than successful!
Byford and household chores
We believe in getting our children to help in their environment.
We will work to develop good behaviours and responsible approaches by encouraging the children to see a clean and tidy up of their environment as being great fun and something that will make their life easier too.
Why not contact us for a further discussion on this or any other subject relating to our child care provisions? We’d love to hear from you.