Introducing Chores to Young Children (Part 1)

Getting young children into the habit of doing chores

We all hated chores when we were kids, and now our kids hate doing them too, it’s to be expected. It can be a pain trying to get little kids into the habit of doing their share of chores – usually it would be easier to just do it yourself. But chores and getting everyone to do their bit are very important aspects of family life.

Chores teach kids important skills like laundry, cooking and cleaning – and even if they’re too young to do a load of laundry by themselves or cook a meal, helping you to do that lets them see how it’s done and makes them feel like they’re doing their bit. Kids who do chores work better in teams, and will go on to become better team players in life. Instilling the importance of pulling their weight and fairly dividing up work early on in life can make a big difference long-term.

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Of course, you have to be realistic when it comes to chores and make sure what you’re asking is possible for them. It would be lovely if we could all get our children to do everything for us. Unfortunately, asking a seven-year-old to cook a family meal is unrealistic (yes, I’ve seen this happen before) and won’t end well for the child or you (or the kitchen). However, letting your child get involved in the cooking process – even if it’s just laying the table – is a good way to get them to help.

Helping with chores can boost a child’s self-esteem once they see that they helped out and you might find that they’re eager to do it again. Getting your child to do laundry isn’t going to happen, but asking them to help you sort clothes into lights and darks, or maybe asking them to help you hang the washing out, is a good way to get them involved. Also, they get to see how it’s done so that when they’re old enough you can ask them to do it themselves.

 

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