It’s never too early to get your kids to start helping around the house. Being the oldest child in my family, I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t have responsibilities. This has carried over into how I parent my kids, too. Finding a balance is important as your kids will be working their whole lives and should have time just to be a kid. But they also must learn the importance of being a helper.
You have a lot on your plate, mama, and believe it or not, kids can help you tackle the chores from a very young age! As a former preschool teacher, I was always in awe of the kids in my classroom who genuinely didn’t know how to clean up after themselves. I told myself early on that my children would be taught from the very beginning that they are not entitled to their toys or a clean environment, but must take care of what they have been given. This ownership has given them a natural “helper” mentality.
Sure, we still have our fights and the lectures like: “We won’t do x,y, or z until you clean up this mess!” Followed by screams and stubbornness. But I’m hoping the more I stay consistent and expect from them, the easier this whole enforcing chores thing will be.
To make it simple, we created a free printable below. Use it as a reference or actually print it out and establish chore assignments! You will need to offer guidance at first, as your children won’t automatically know your expectations. But the key to encouraging their “cleaning spirits” is not to redo what they did. This can be SO tough. My two-year-old son enjoys helping me fold clothes, but he has absolutely no coordination to fold to my standards. However, I give him a handful of towels and let him go at it! Then he carries his pile to the drawer to put them away. I don’t really care how my dishtowels look, so I don’t redo the folding. I just also don’t let him do the clothes that I don’t want to be wrinkled. You have the power to set boundaries. If I were to redo his folding, I guarantee he wouldn’t enjoy helping me out anymore, or he would catch onto the fact that he doesn’t have to try because I’ll end up “fixing” whatever he messes up.
There will be a lot of trial and error along the way, but keep setting the example and expectation of hard work, and don’t forget to make it FUN!
Comment and let us know how the chore assignments work in YOUR home!