Some people will disagree with trying to get smaller children to help around the house.
This time in their lives is for play, not for working – surely?
Whilst I am in full agreement that play and fun should be top of the list – there’s no reason why some chores can’t be weaved into that fun too!
Children have boundless energy, and it’s a great way to get them moving and use up some of that energy as well!
I really believe in getting everyone in the family involved in its smooth running – and that can start as early as the child allows.
GET THEM PREPARED…
Getting small children to help around the house is crucial to bringing them up to be able to look after themselves in their adult lives.
We all have to live somewhere, and we all have to run a home at some point in our lives – so we really need to start young to develop the habits that are required to make this as easy as possible.
If things become habits from a very young age – then that’s half the battle won.
IT’S A LIFE SKILL WE ALL NEED TO LEARN
Having children help out around the house is a natural progression for their development, and is one of the best skills that they can learn from you.
One of the biggest issues with people today is that they simply haven’t learnt how to run a house, and when they move out of their family home and start living somewhere by themselves, they can quickly become unstuck.
It’s not taught at school, and if you don’t have parents that let you help out, and visibly see what it takes to run a house from an early age, then you’ll never pick it up (or at least not that easily).
So really – you can’t afford NOT to let your children help around the house – can you!?
There are loads of ways to get children more involved in chores, and here are my favourites:-
1. LET THEM SEE YOU DOING IT – & EXPLAIN WHY IT’S NEEDED
Children are sponges when it comes to watching what you’re doing – and just seeing that mummy or daddy do things around the house is enough when they are very little.
I’m not saying do everything around the house with your child, but letting them see you do a few things regularly will get them used to the fact that jobs have to be done.
If you always leave housework until they are asleep or at nursery etc.. then they will never see this as part of life – and won’t learn the skill – they will always think that the house stays clean by itself (if only the cleaning fairies really did visit each day!)
You can make it a fun time as well, so if they aren’t yet talking you could have them in a baby bouncer or seat and sing to them, and talk to them about what you’re doing – they just love to be around you and listen to you so make the most of it!
2. THEY WANT TO COPY YOU – LET THEM!
Children learn by watching and imitating – they are sponges to what their parents do, good or bad. It’s a huge responsibility but can be an amazingly powerful way to think about your home keeping as they grow up.
Seeing you making a home for them, watching you cook healthy meals, learning that things need to get done and it doesn’t just happen is a HUGE thing for children to learn.
And every step of the way they will start to understand that this is a part of life, and they will want to copy what they see.
You have the power to help them learn all this – and that’s amazing when you think about it!
So, why not set them a good example, and show them that yes, housework has to be done, but it doesn’t have to be a chore, and makes life easier for them as well.
3. ALLOCATE CHORES BASED ON AGE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Children aren’t slaves!
You may be reading this thinking that I’m advocating having your children doing as many jobs as you do, following you around all day when they are at home and giving them task after task.
Not at all.
They really shouldn’t have loads to do, especially at a young age.
At that point it’s about just feeling like they helping a little here and there.
But as they grow older, they can start to get more responsibility which they should start to want anyway (OK OK, not maybe for jobs around the house, more for being allowed to play with their friends more, but I’m erring on the side of positivity here so allow me a little hope!)
Tasks that work really well at different stages are:-
- Give them a duster and get them to “polish”
- A small handheld hoover or a small brush to help clean floors is great fun!
- Making their bed
- Tidying their room
- Tidying up after playing with toys
- Watering plants
- General digging and weeding is great fun – and messy too!
- Helping to wash the car – sponge, bucket and soap – fantastic!
- Sorting washing into colours and whites and towels
- Pairing up socks
- Loading / Emptying the dishwasher
All totally possible for to do, and will give them a sense of satisfaction when they do it as well.
Quite a bit to dig into there, I’m sure you agree!, but there’s more…
Let’s get on with the last 3 ways to make getting the kids to help around the house – how many do you already do?