Your Child is Never too Young for Chores
Chores, that's an interesting topic of discussion. Some parents will tell you that it's so much more efficient if they just do the household duties. They can do them so much faster.
Sometimes what you desire most can be the most difficult. This is especially true in the area of delegating. You aren't training your children up in the way they should go if you don't teach them responsibility. Will you still pick up after them when they move into their own apartment?
I saw a sign hanging in an office break room that read, "Your Mother Doesn't Work Here – Clean Up Your Own Mess." There must be a reason such a sign was ever created. Your child is never too young for chores.
From the time your child can walk and understand basic commands you can start teaching the fine art of putting things away. "Put your cup on the table for Mommy." Younger children are capable of helping feed the pets, putting clothes away (or at least in the vicinity they belong) and can certainly find the toy box to pick up after playing.
Other areas younger children may be able to help with include bringing their own laundry basket into their room and cleaning countertops with paper towels. You'll find that children really want to help. They feel grown up and special helping mommy and daddy.
As the children age, you'll need to increase their responsibilities. By the time they are five they should be able to help quite a bit in the kitchen. They can help mix baking items; set the table, clear the table; and load and empty dishwasher. Children even enjoy dusting. It's really a shame that enthusiasm doesn't carry over into adult life!
First through fifth graders ought to be able to let pets outside (and back in again) as well as take the pets for a walk. They'll get excited about the opportunity of making you a meal (be prepared for toast, an apple, a piece of cheese and some grapes, but it'll be the best you've ever had.)
It doesn't matter if they leave your car soap streaked from washing it. They're learning and you're teaching. They're old enough to push a vacuum, a snow shovel and a rake. What's one chore many adults will tell you they like the least? Putting away laundry is high on that list. Teach your elementary aged child to fold and hang up the laundry and you'll set a good lifelong pattern.
If you invest a little patience and time providing proper instruction, you'll be helping yourself and your child develop into well rounded adults!
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