Household tasks help children learn to organize their time, have responsibilities, set goals and acquire certain skills. When they help their parents, toddlers feel big and useful, which helps build their confidence. It is therefore appropriate to involve children in household tasks. They may even enjoy it!
How to motivate children?
Children can start doing small tasks very early. Even a toddler can put dirty clothes in the basket reserved for this purpose and store his toys. Here’s how you can encourage your child to participate in household chores – young children often want to “help” their parents and do the same things they do. The earlier you get your child used to doing a few small tasks, the more likely he or she will keep this good habit. Even if you have not yet involved him in family chores, it is not too late to start.
- Ask your toddler to become your assistant if he or she needs your attention when you prepare the meal or fold clothes, for example. At about 18 months, he can start playing the “assistant” game to help you do certain tasks.
- Try to avoid stereotyping activities. Boys may enjoy cooking or washing dishes, and girls may learn to do crafts and clean the garden.
- Don’t forget to associate pleasure with chores. Play music, dance and joke while you do your work. This will teach your child that positive feelings and collective work go hand in hand.
- Turn chores into games. If you want your child to clean his or her room, ask him or her: “Do you want to play in the store? You could be a toy salesman. But first, the toys must be well placed on the shelves so that customers can see them clearly. “You will, of course, have to play for a few minutes and ask your “salesman” to find the toys you want, but the storage routine was pleasant. Try to challenge him too. For example, tell him,”How many toys can you store in 30 seconds? “Similarly, if you need help in the kitchen, offer your child to be your assistant. He will find it fun to play a role and help you.
- Be patient and be aware that it will take your child longer than you to complete a task. Explain what you are doing (e.g.,”See, I’ll put the glass here, and the utensils there.”). Ask for only one thing at a time and avoid being too demanding. Your toddler may get discouraged if it’s too difficult.
For your child, helping you with household chores is an opportunity to have a good time with you.
- Thank your child warmly every time he or she helps you. He will be happy to know that his help has been helpful to you and this will encourage him to do it again.
- Avoid “buying” your child to help you, but instead make him or her understand that for a family to work well, everyone must do their part. Tell him that chores should be his way of helping his family. If you want to give your preschooler some pocket money, do it to teach him or her how to understand and manage money, not to thank him or her for participating in chores.
By involving them in the family routine from an early age and gradually increasing their responsibilities, you help them to avoid considering chores as painful. If you and your partner have been able to divide the burden between you, it will make it easier: your child will see both of you getting involved in “running the house”.
If you use a babysitter, your child should behave in the same way with her as with you. That is, participate to help the baysitter in certain activities. To find a babysitter in Toulouse, Bsit is the site for you. You will find babysitters recommended by your family and friends.
Which tasks by age
Before 3 years
- Put away your toys. At first, your child will need your help. Little by little, you can let him do a little more.
- Find similar socks among those coming out of the dryer so that you can assemble them.
- Fold wipes and make a pile.
- Place your boots or shoes next to the front door.
- Hang your coat on a hook that is at its height.
- Clean the table or other objects with a damp cloth.
- Putting waste in the garbage can.
- Wash vegetables, tear lettuce leaves, pour ingredients into a bowl.
- Place books in a sufficiently low library.
Between 3 and 5 years
- Put away your toys.
- Put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
- Place your folded clothes in a drawer within reach.
- Put your dirty dishes on the counter near the sink.
- Measure the dry ingredients of a recipe, pour into a bowl and mix.
- Help set the table by placing utensils and napkins.
- Remove snow from the balcony with a small shovel if the amount of snow is not very large.
- Sweep under the table after dinner.
- Water the plants, under your supervision.
Tasks: when they are not done
Your child will not always want to do it: sometimes it will be a real chore for you to have him or her participate in the chores! What if he doesn’t roll up his sleeves as agreed?
- Give him a reasonable amount of time to complete his tasks in order to make things easier for everyone. Give him the complete freedom to finish them on his own at the appointed time. Avoid scolding him all the time to get him started.
- If the chores are not done by the time you say they are, don’t start the task yourself, otherwise you would send him the following message: “You don’t really have to do your chores unless you want to, because if you don’t do them, Mom or Dad will do them for you!”
- If a chore has to be repeated because it was not done properly the first time, insist gently and patiently that your child take the time to do it again correctly.
- Explain that everyone must be involved in household chores to ensure that family life runs smoothly.
- To motivate them, encourage them by telling them that you will do something they enjoy when they finish.
Remember that for a child to take responsibility for chores without having to be reminded of his or her tasks all the time, it must be done early, between the ages of 3 and 5. You also have to be patient, because learning can take a few years. In other words, we don’t wait until he has already reached adolescence!