Although it is always easier for us parents to do things ourselves, it is not sending our children the right message.
Every child should be doing a few little jobs to help
the family home run smoothly and while babies can’t be expected to fold clothes, toddlers can and you should start early with these youngsters to develop their 'house keeping' skills! Of course no one is suggesting that we overdo it, but a few little chores
are actually good for our kids, and builds up their confidence and independence. It also allows kids to understand that they also play a role in the up keep of their home and that working together will allow more quality family time as parents will be less busy catching up on things to do.
For younger kids they can pitch in by tidying up after themselves, we all know toddlers and pre-schoolers are notoriously messy but you should teach them to clean up after they are finished playing. You can also get them to fold their clothes and put them away, sure it might not be perfect but what is the worst that can happen? Using a sticker chart for this young age is a good idea and it shows your child that being helpful will be rewarded with a treat at the end of the week.
School age kids are a lot hardier and therefore able to take on more complicated jobs like putting their shoes and bags away once they have returned from school. Little things like feeding their pets and cleaning up after them is also a great way to involve them and teaches them responsibility for their pets that they love. Laying the table before dinner and helping clear it after shows them that everyone works together to sit down and have a meal and it shouldn’t be left to parents while the kiddies run off and play. Be sure to praise your youngster for their attempts and avoid taking a chore off them if they fail to do it to your standards instead teach them the right way.
Older kids of the tween and teen stage
are fully able to provide their assistance in the daily chores in the home, and they should be encouraged to do so. We all know this stage can be tricky when they might become lazy and less interested in helping but again use a reward system like pocket money or being able to go to a certain event. Certainly at this stage they should be sweeping the floors, mopping, and preparing dinner and some might go as far as cooking a full meal with supervision of course.
Parents want to let their kids be kids and of course that means letting them have fun and play endlessly but if you are taking on all the jobs at home you are allowing your kids to presume that everything should be done for them. It is a good life lesson to be self-sufficient and young people should know how to use an oven, washing machine and a dishwasher to prepare them for the years ahead when Mammy and Daddy won’t be around. Their college years/working years will be here at some stage and living off pot noodle will wear thin after a few days. By showing your kids how to help at home and how to provide food for themselves as well as clean up and keep their home organised will benefit them hugely in the later years. So get ahead now and get the offspring up off the sofa and hand them a hoover, it will do them good!