How to make your child help you in household chores?

This incident happened when my daughter was just over 1 year. While I was playing with her, I asked her to put a toy in her cupboard. Without a second bidding, she took the toy and put it in her toys cupboard. So the next time, after she finished her meal, I asked her to put her dish in the kitchen, and she did. She thought it was a game. She started enjoying it so much that she hardly let us finish our meals, as she wanted to put our plates in the kitchen sink.

child cleaning.jpg

Image: http://airman.dodlive.mil

This taught me something very useful: What’s chore for us is fun for kids.

Since that day, I started including my daughter in small household chores. She enjoys doing them, while I get some precious minutes.

These are some simple chores that your child can help you with:

Managing clothes:

Clothes in a house usually belong to 3 places: cupboard, laundry basket and drying line. So if you see them out of place, teach your child to:

  • Put soiled clothes into the laundry basket.
  • Fill the washing machine with dirty clothes.
  • Help in hanging the clothes on the drying line.

Take out next day’s school clothes, if he is old enough to do it. Fold the clothes and put them in the cupboard.

Keeping the house clean:

One thing that mommyhood has taught me is­­ that toys, crayons and books have feet. And then they will come out at the most unsuspecting places and at the most inopportune moments. And no they don’t go back as they come; you have to show them their place. After a long day, picking up and cleaning the house can be real jerks.

Teach your kid to clean up after her.

Ask her to pick up bits of paper, toys, crayons, books from the floor. Usually, I start singing this song “clean up, clean up, everybody do yourself” whenever there is little clean up to do. She loves this song from Barney and within moments she joins me in the cleaning spree.

She must pick up her shoes and other belongings and put them in their rightful place. She can also help in cleaning the furniture.

Help in the kitchen:

Most kids are happy playing with the kitchen utensils while their mothers are cooking in the kitchen. Exploit this opportunity.

Ask your kid to wash vegetables and fruits, shell peas, apply butter on bread and make sandwiches.

Things you must know:

  • Don’t thank when they help you. It will make them feel as if they obliged you. They need to understand that it is their work too.
  • Supervise a small child. You wouldn’t want all those shelled peas inside her tummy or rolling under the difficult-to-reach-out-to places of refrigerators, cupboards etc.
  • Make sure, a child never comes in contact with knife, fork or gas while working in the kitchen.
  • If a child is not interested in helping, leave him alone. May be he is not in the mood. Seriously, you can’t make toddlers and preschoolers do things against their wish. This I have learnt the hard way.

Do you let your child help you with household chores? Any tip or trick that you are particularly proud (or not) of using? 😉

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2 thoughts on “How to make your child help you in household chores?

  1. My daughter loves helping especially with the kitchen chores. It is great that you are getting your daughter involved at an early age. It teaches responsibility an it is a help. I have songs for certain things. I have a song that we sing together when she picks up her toys. Even when she is a little resistant in the beginning once I start the song she joins in and will start grabbing her toys.

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