Chores are not just about helping each other around the house. They’re about building self-esteem and, in the long run, self-reliance.
But helping around the house is about more than just being a tired parent, who actually thinks he or she is going to drown amongst all the things that need to be done, and therefore in the long run needs help.
To start at an early stage saying, “in this family we work together, we help one another” is a great beginning to something considerably greater; your children’s own self-esteem. By helping and being involved in the household chores your children learn the skills of taking care of themselves; developing responsibility, empathy, cooperation and self-reliance. And listen to this: They become more well-adjusted young adults. According to research if they pitch in and help out they avoid drugs, set out on a career path, and develop relationships to a greater degree than they would otherwise.
The great thing is that beginning early is so easy; toddlers love to help. Start doing things side by side. This is, after all, the golden age of imitating you.
A toddler can:
Put away toys
Put away clean clothes with a little assistance
Carry dirty laundry and put it in the
When they hit three years they can also:
Pick up dirty laundry
Help set the table
Wipe down spills
Match clean socks that you can fold together.
Around the age of four they could do chores like:
Clearing dishes from the table
Helping to put silverware in place
Cleaning counters with a squirt bottle and sponge
Watering flowers, etc.
And remember: It’s about more than less work for you. It starts with putting away dirty laundry in the laundry basket and stops with paying rent for a place of one’s own.