Teaching your kids to do the housework, instead of just creating it, not only lightens your load, but also teaches them lifelong domestic skills. Do not feel they are to young or too little. The truth is that even two year old children can be responsible, if they are guided. All that is required is patience and dedication. Here are 5 ways to encourage children to do domestic chores around the home:
1) Start early
Give your kids domestic responsibilities early in life. Children as young as two can help with dusting, watering the plants and picking their own toys. Start instilling the value of being tidy too. Even a toddler can pick up some items and put them in a box. School kids love sorting and grouping objects, so encourage them to sort their own washing into whites and darks. Parenting guru, Steve Biddulph says that by the age of nine, kids are able to safely use a knife and boil water without accidents and suggests they cook a meal for the family once a week. The experience not only lets them develop an essential life skill, it also instills confidence and pride in their abilities. Just be at a safe distance watching.
2. Make it a daily routine
Just like homework time, or bedtime, include house work into their routine, we all know how children adjust to routines. For example, a 10 minute tidy up before their favorite TV program starts, or just before dinner is to be served, will spring them into action. You just have to be clever about it.
3. Make it fun for the younger ones
Yes, house work is far from a fun activity, but to encourage your toddler to grow up getting used to doing chores, you can play some music and dance around while you clean with them. This way they learn to associate housework with fun instead of with disdain.
4) Make your cleaning products child-friendly
Cut off the end of a broom and mop stick so it’s just the right height for your preschooler. If you are more traditional you can buy the very short brooms alongside the tall ones sold in the market. Fill a small bucket with water and floor cleaner for them to mop the floors with you. Old socks can work well as little dust mittens for kids to wear while dusting too.
5. Motivation tips
Teach your kids that housework is everyone’s responsibility and not something to do just because they get something in return, like pocket money. That said, an occasional reward, should not be totally ruled out.