Pick Safe Household Chores for your Kids
Edited by Jeffrey Casel, Eng, Nerissa Avisado, Lynn
The way kids these days spend so much time in the internet or playing games is a matter of concern for parents and guardians. At a young age, there are more important things for young children to learn and do instead of spending time in front of the computer or television. This is not saying they should not be allowed to enjoy these childhood perks, but they need to know there are certain things expected of them, regardless of their age.
As parents, you have a great task ahead in instilling the value of responsibility and work ethics in your children. Studies show that kids, including toddlers, who have been exposed to household responsibilities mature into adults with greater self-esteem and balanced personalities. If you pick safe household chores for your kids, you're not just making them share with the housework, but more importantly, you're helping them gain important skills for their success in adulthood.
The question often asked is what kind of chores can be assigned for a child of certain age. There is no definite answer to that because children are unique in their own ways, and some may be more mature physically and mentally than other kids belonging to the same age group. For the most part, however, there are things to be expected within an age range. For example, your 7 year old son can be told to accomplish something which his 3 year old sister cannot even understand. The key is in identifying their individual abilities when you assign them appropriate chores, and having the patience to teach them well. Even adults start by learning the ropes, so you can't expect them to ace the job the first time you ask them.
The Value of Giving Small Tasks to Young Children
- 1Being entrusted with a chore, no matter how small, provides a young child with self-esteem. It gives the child a major sense of accomplishment knowing he's able to do things with his own little hands and he will take pride in showing he's a reliable and competent worker.Builds self-esteem:
- 2A child who knows he's expected to deliver a finished job will do his best to rise to the occasion despite difficulties. This is an important work ethic that will train him to complete whatever tasks are assigned to him, whether at home, school or work.Teaches the importance of completing a job:
- 3The child will appreciate being in an environment that he helps maintain to be cleaned and organized, especially if he finds it easy to locate things he needs.Emphasizes the need to organize and clean things:
- 4Finding he is appreciated for the little tasks he does will make the kid continuously make himself useful even without being asked. It'll be formed in his mind that he has something to contribute in the household chores, and this can very well continue into adult years and beyond.Develops the habit of being useful around the house:
- 5By explaining to the child that he's part of a family that helps each other in the house, he will easily understand and feel that he has a responsibility to share in his own little way. In fact, he can see his work as a big contribution without thinking he is being singled out, since all members are working together.Provides a sense of belonging:
Ways to Get Kids Do Household Chores
- 1The earlier you start giving them tasks, the better. However, as mentioned, you can't expect very young children to be masterful in their jobs because their motor skills are still developing. The objective is not about making them help, but to teach them the value of responsibility and make them feel they are part of the family team.Start them young.
- 2Give them age appropriate tasks that they can easily accomplish. Start by demonstrating the steps while giving them clear instructions. Allow them to repeat the process until they can do it satisfactorily.Assign simple tasks.
- 3Don't expect the child to be perfect in doing the chores. If you insist on perfection, you may end up doing the chore yourself, which will render the whole exercise useless.Have a relaxed approach.
- 4This will allow the kids to clearly see what their tasks are and help them to realize everyone has his own particular chore as well. The calendar will remind them of things they need to accomplish.Create a chore list and schedule.
- 5Pick tasks that will not expose kids to dangers. Make sure to child-proof the environment when you ask them to do things in the house.Employ safety measures.
- 6You need to clearly spell out what you ask the kid to do. Don't give general instructions like telling the kid to clean up the room. Instead tell the young fellow to fix his bed, or put his toys in the bin.Set clear and specific instructions.
- 7If there are older siblings, you may ask them to become role models. They can also be partnered with younger children in doing tasks, assigning the older ones to give instructions and see to it that they both finish the chore assigned to them.Ask older kids to help.
- 8Make the kids understand that they're not getting paid for doing household chores. What they do is for the benefit of the family wherein they belong. A reward gives them an option to refuse in exchange for it. But, you can be generous in giving praises and offering some treats with the whole family in tow.Give no rewards.
Safe Household Chores to Assign your Kids
- 1Fold the laundry.
Tips, Tricks and Warnings
- Be consistent in giving chores and instructions. This will keep you from confusing the child in performing the assigned task.
- Be firm in implementing your rules when it comes to completing their tasks. Make sure the children understand the need to finish their regular chores before they can engage in fun activities, like playing computer games or watching television.
- Don't use chores as a leverage or form of punishment for misbehavior. This will make the child take chores negatively.