It just seems like yesterday you were bringing your baby home from the hospital. Now he is almost 3 and seems eager to help around the house. But how young is too young to start giving chores? And what can a 3 year old really do to help around the house? It would just be a lot easier to do it myself, rather than having to re-do the work and waste all that time.
Experts say that children as young as 2 years old can start helping with chores. Young children want to be a part of the household dynamic so they are more excited to help out. Parents just need to present the chores to them so they feel as though they are contributing to the household. Chores actually help build self-esteem and make them feel needed. Experts also say that the earlier they learn these skills, the more likely they will help around the house once they are teens. As your child gets older, they’ll need less supervision and reminding
Monetary rewards are not necessary when your children are younger because they are not usually motivated by money. If you want to reward your toddler, a sticker chart is a good incentive. Once your child is older and starts to learn responsibility, an allowance can be a big motivator.
Create a list of chores that keeps the household running and let your child choose what they would like to do. Be specific with instructions, don’t just say, “Clean your room.” Tell them what toys to put away.
· Waiting too long to introduce chores to your child.
· Re-doing it for them. Give a demonstration, supervise their first time, then they are on their way.
· Not being consistent, they will start to assume if they don’t do it, someone will do it for them.
· Waiting until the chore is done to give praise, or not praising at all.
Here are a few age appropriate chores:
Help make my bed.
Pick up toys and books.
Take laundry to the laundry room.
Help feed pets.
Help wipe up spills.
Dust with socks on their hands.
Clothes in hamper.
Brink napkins to table.
Pile up books and magazines.
Clear and set the table.
Help out in cooking and preparing food.
Carrying and putting away groceries.
Make own bed.
Take care of pets.
Vacuum and sweep.
Take out trash.
Fold and put away laundry.
Set the table.
Put away own clothes.
Help prepare simple meals.
Clean the bathroom.
Operate the washer and dryer.
Replace light bulbs and vacuum cleaner bags.
All parts of the laundry.
Clean out refrigerator and other kitchen appliances.
Prepare grocery lists.
If you need a chore chart, there are a lot of free downloadable charts online.