Now some children do chores for money, some children do them because it is expected and some children don’t do chores at all. Whatever the case may be I do think is important is that children are seen as CAPABLE and RESPONSIBLE. Children need to be given the tools and opportunities to take care of themselves and their environment, and contribute to their home and society.
At our preschool, we encourage our children to sort out their rubbish scraps into recycle, garbage and compost. We also expect them to pack away their toys/resources after we have finished playing with them. This is valuable not only to our environment but to their independence and the effect their actions have on their environment.
At my home we try to practice some ‘chores’ as well. When she was able to stand on a chair with some support, Little Miss A LOVED ‘helping’ with the dishes. She would mostly play with the water and bubbles, but it did help her feel a part of the experience of looking after our home.
Now she is a little older, she has proven to me her capability of scraping her bowl into the bin – something that I personally have not shown her, and would have done myself, but given the opportunity recently as I had my hands full with Little Man, she proceeded to empty her bowl into the bin without prompting.
And whilst neither of my children are fans of the vacuum cleaner due to its noise, Little Miss A recently helped sweep the floor. I am lucky enough to have a interchangeable handle and could change the size to make it more practical for her.
The key to making ‘chores’ or ‘tasks’ work is making sure they are suitable to your individual child’s needs and abilities. Remember it is all about giving your child confidence and letting them be included in the process.
A link to some age appropriate chores and some of the benefits of chores/tasks, can be found here from the Raising Children Network.
And as Mary Poppins said “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap, the job’s a game … And every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake…”