As parents, our to-do list seems to grow right along with our children. The more responsibilities we have the more stress we seem to have to get it all done. Myself, I like to do all the work around the house and not let my kids help – so they can be kids. Even so, they love to help! I often think it is more work than necessary to instruct them and possibly redo a task for them, so I simply do it myself. But, this actually robs them (and me!) from a great growing experience. In my better moments, I lower my expectations so I can work side by side with my children and we both can learn together! I can model how to help others by allowing them to help me.
From the article Divide and Conquer Household Chores
Parenting expert Jim Fay, co-founder of Love and Logic, shares that we all need to feel needed and to know that we’re making a contribution — even kids. “But they can’t feel that way if they don’t have chores and make contributions to the family.”
Pitfalls to Avoid When it Comes to Chores:
Don’t delay. You might think your child is too young. But your kids may be more capable than you think. Kids can do a lot of chores at an early stage, McIntire says. For example, getting clothes to the laundry or cleaning up after dinner. “We hold back too long because we think they ought to be ready first. But that puts the cart before the horse,” he says. That is, they’ll learn by doing.
Don’t be stingy with praise. Get that praise going right away! Don’t wait until the chore is done. Praise and encourage the child while the chore is in progress. You want to build positive momentum, especially with young kids.
Don’t insist on perfection. No one is perfect, and it’s better to have a more relaxed approach to how well your kids do their chores. Otherwise, McIntire says, you might have a struggle on your hands. Or you might jump in and do it for them, which would undermine the whole point.
Other things you could think about are Chore Charts. So the children have a visual of what they need to do. Melissa and Doug have an amazing magnetic responsibility chart. My girls loved having a chart, they liked to see who can finish their chores first since they were able to check it off.