laundry, and cleaning, and cooking ... oh my!
Sometimes it feels as if there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done and have time to spend with your children. This TipToes topic shows you how to include your child (of all ages) in your household routines- a win win situation for everybody- the chores get done, and your child learns valuable lessons! In an online article by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the difference between BIG JOBS and CHORES is defined. (http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/child-development/big-jobs-home) Consider this... BIG JOBS: are indoor and outdoor jobs children do with their families (or others) that help the whole family. They include tasks like setting the table, planting flowers, and tidying up when visitors are coming. Big jobs require teamwork. CHORES: are assigned tasks that a child completes individually or with help. Why is it important to include your child in household activities? Children need to feel useful, a family is a team and practicing the skills it takes to work with a team in a safe and loving environment will help them develop those social skills that will carry over in school and life. Skills such as:
- Problem solving
- Sticking to a task
There are many great resources that suggest age appropriate chores. From picking up toys or putting laundry in a hamper for toddler aged children to matching socks and feeding your pet for preschoolers. Make it a goal to include your child in a BIG JOB each day. Talk to your child about the job at hand while you are completing it together. Practice recognizing and solving problems, let your child give suggestions for solutions. Show your appreciation for your child's contributions, give specific praise (“Wow, I like how carefully you carried those breakable dishes!”). Let your child know how important their work is... this will make them want to do it again! CHOICES can help make chores more attractive. Chores are not a choice, but there can be choices for the tasks the child is assigned. Using a choice board with pictures for each job can help a child feel more in control. The pictures could also be used to designate each person of the family's jobs by putting the picture by their name on a chart. Here is an example of a chore board from one of our classrooms…
Pictures of chores are attached, print them out and use it with your child at home! Need to make chores more fun? Try making a special "SUPER HELPER CAPE" that your child wears when it is time to help out or when you see them helping out around the house without prompting. A super helper cape can be a great reward and/or a novelty to make less than desirable chores fun! One last thing to remember... the chores your young child does may not be perfect, but try not to let them see you "redo" them- it will discount all their hard work! Teach them how to do the chore to meet your expectations and with a little practice, you will have a super helper!