Kids and Chores - How to Get Them to Help out at Home
Having your kids help you out with chores at home is the key to them becoming organized and independent. Plus, you’re instilling them with a healthy habit that’ll stay with them their whole lives. So, how can you get your kids to help you out at home?
Most experts say that parents are overprotective of their children, even when it comes to personal responsibilities. For example, it’s easier for you to keep on feeding them even when they’re old enough to feed themselves so that they don’t make a mess. Or maybe you don’t have them take their plates to the sink because you’re worried they’ll drop them.
In the end, that does nothing but slow down their maturity. You’re basically preventing them from gaining the necessary skills for them to become independent. Then, once they’re teenagers, you suddenly start to ask them to clean their room and help with the chores, which you should have started when they were little kids.
It’s never too soon
Independence and organization are crucial qualities that you want to encourage in your kids from a young age. Plus, if you can adapt the chore to their age, they’ll love to be able to help. It’s a win-win – you’re getting help with the chores, and they’re gaining valuable life skills.
Putting away their toys
For example, once they’ve learned to crawl, you can show your kids how to put away their toys. At this age, it needs to be fun, to be part of a game. This is a stage where you’re just trying to show them that organization is important.
At around two years old, they’re ready to put things where they belong. But you can still make it easy for them! Put out some multi-colored bins at their height so they can figure out what goes where. You could even take photos of what belongs in each and tape it to the outside so that your kids will know what goes in which bin.
Another way to get your kids to help out is to lay their bedroom out in a way that they can easily reach everything. That’ll make it much easier for them to keep things nice and tidy. It can also help to show them how not to clutter their bedroom in the first place. Here’s an article with our tips on that.
How can you get them to help with clothes?
We can’t stress enough the importance of fostering independence and confidence in your kids. Another way to help with that is to have them dress themselves. Take a deep breath when you see their wacky combinations and make sure they also learn to put their clothes away.
A simple way to do that is to have dressers with drawers at their height. Then they can fold everything Marie Kondo style. That will help them get a better sense of what they have and be able to put it away more easily. Marie even talks about how she taught her daughter to fold her own clothes and be organized.
Even if they’re as young as three, you can still enlist your kids to help set the table. Take things slowly, and let them learn the skills they need. Start with the napkins, the bread, and before you realize it, they’ll be able to do it all!
But that’s not the only way they can help you with food. Make sure that they help you put away groceries when you get back home! They can help put away fruit, rice, cookies, and other things in the pantry even if they’re only a year and a half old. Your little kids will be delighted to be able to help with the household chores.
Depending on how ready you think they are, they could even help you out in the kitchen. For example, you could show them how to make a salad, whisk eggs for an omelet, or mix together the dough for your next batch of cookies!
Don’t forget to encourage them when they take part. They may not be able to do it just as well as an adult would, but the main thing here is that they’re learning skills, growing, and making cleanliness and organization part of their routine. They’ll even build a sense of empathy, and be better at working in a team.
To be clear, this isn’t about them helping you for the sake of helping. They need to help around the house because they live there too, and they should be involved in keeping it tidy as well. Plus, as you can see, it’ll help them become more independent and pick up these positive habits at an early age.
In the end, this is the kind of thing that will make for a pleasant family life. Everyone will feel equally valued and valuable, and nothing could be better for the self-esteem.