It’s the day after New Year’s and I’m already in clean-up mode. The Christmas tree came down yesterday and I’m in the process of trying to organize and tidy up the house. My son, Dane, received an automated coin counter bank this Christmas and he excitedly went to fill it with coins he had stashed away in his room from birthdays and Easter baskets. He brought the jar to me and asked where he could get more coins to fill the jar. My eyes lit up and I knew that this was a great way to give him the opportunity to start earning some money as a reward for helping around the house more.
I learned early on that our children know and can do a lot more than we sometimes give them credit for. I remember one day when I went to pick Dane up from daycare when he was quite young. His class was just getting ready to go and play outside and I watched him dress himself completely. Boots, snow pants, coat, hat AND gloves. What? My son can dress himself?? Why was it that I was the one helping him get dressed every morning and undressed every evening we got home when he could do it by himself??
I stood there in wonderment. I was amazed. I was a little confused. . .and honest to goodness, I felt a bit. . .taken advantage of. My toddler was outsmarting me. He knew he could dress himself, but because mom always did it for him at home, he wasn’t about to change that. Well, after that moment, mom got a bit smarter about things and I started encouraging independence. It sure made getting out the door in the morning easier when he was doing things for himself that I had always done for him.
Today I’m sharing some Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids. I’m planning to expand the list of responsibilities for Dane and will allow him to pick and choose which “new” chores he would like to start helping with. Believe it or not, kids can begin helping around the house as early as two years of age. My daughter, at age 2, started showing an interest in helping out when she would see me dust our living room coffee table. She wanted a dust rag of her own. After she helped me dust the table, you could see the pride in her eyes when I told her what a great job she did.
Having children help with chores around the house teaches responsibility and provides a wonderful opportunity for positive reinforcement. I put together a FREE printable chore list to offer some ideas on where to start if you want to get your kids more involved in helping out around the house.
Experiment with a few age-appropriate ideas on the list to see what works for your child(ren) and family. You can continue to expand responsibilities around the house by adding one or two more chores to their list as they begin to master the chores you started them with. The earlier you start getting kids involved in helping out around the home, the easier it will be to enforce these responsibilities as they get older.
When I talked to Dane about helping out more to earn some coins to put into his bank, he was actually very excited, and I was thrilled. Remember that rewards don’t have to be monetary, they could be stickers or even tokens that could be cashed in at a later time for a special movie night or play date with a good friend. Bottom line is the importance of the lesson that they’re receiving about independence, helping and working together as a family.
Don’t underestimate what your kids are capable of like I did. I’m so glad I learned that lesson early on in parenting so I could course-correct. I would love to hear how you get your kids involved in helping out around the home. What new responsibilities can your kids take on in the new year?