Early on when my kids were little, I taught them how to do chores. With my family growing at a rapid rate ( I had a new baby approximately every 18 months- 2 years), my house was busy and got messy quickly. I realized there was no way I could do it all.
Once my oldest child reached the age of 4 or 5 I began teaching him to do simple chores. (here’s a handy list of age-appropriate chores)
It takes longer at first to train them, than to do it yourself, but it pays off for you and your kids big-time if you take the time to train them when they are small and actually want to help out. Sometimes I would have to go back when they weren’t looking and touch things up, but kids need to know they are needed. They are part of the family and everyone has chores to do. You have to show them how step-by-step.
I made a list of all the chores that needed to be done and switched them every summer. That way I could train them for their new jobs in the summer months; by the time school started everyone knew how to do their chores. Each year I would decide who could best do each job for the year. Sometimes it was me, or sometimes certain ones of the kids. I tried to give them age-appropriate chores. Sometimes I would let the older train the younger. For instance: “If you can train Josh to clean the bathroom well, then next year it will be his job and not yours anymore.” (talk about motivation!)
As my kids grew up and had families of their own, they were grateful for having been taught a work ethic and made to learn how to be a responsible family member. Yours will too.
Feel free to share your ideas with us all. We’d love to hear them!
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