Learning to help out as a child isn't just a matter of sharing in the housework. Learning early on to say “In our family we work together and help each other out” is a good start for something considerably more important – the child's self-worth.
Children develop a sense of responsibility, empathy, cooperation and self-belief. Even more important, they turn into better adjusted young people. The best thing about starting early is that young kids love helping out and being involved. Start by doing things together, side by side. It's easy when your child is little, because they mimic what you do.
Suggested jobs that young children can help with:
• Putting their toys away.
• Organising their pillows and cuddly toys in bed.
• Putting clean clothes away (with a bit of help).
• Carrying dirty clothes to the laundry basket and leaving them there.
At age three, they can also:
• Collect dirty clothes.
• Help set the table.
• Wipe up anything they've spilt.
• Pair up socks for you to roll up.
At age four, their tasks can include:
• Setting the table.
• Putting the cutlery in position.
• Wiping the table with a cloth.
• Sorting the rubbish.
• Watering flowers.
Make a game out of thinking up new jobs that your child can take on together with an elder sibling or an adult. After that, it'll be time to go and play. Come out to play!