We have chores around the house. I’m from the Dr. Kevin Leman school of “familyology” (my word, not his) that says, “Your children don’t live in a hotel. You need to teach them to be a part of the family.”
So, we started the kids out early learning how to help around the house. Does this mean I get a break from doing things around the house? Far from it, I’m not training them in household chores so that I can sit around and do nothing. I wan them to learn how to help in our family and also so that when they get out on their own, they will be able to do things on their own to maintain their home.
They all start learning to clean up around 15 to 18 months. Liam has taken the longest to teach this but he’s finally picking up on it.
After learning to clean up, I observed Zoe dragging her laundry hamper bag downstairs. She was about 2 then. She also was very interested in helping me clean the bathrooms. Zoe’s always been a big helper and loves doing things around the house. Her chores right now include, cleaning her bathroom with me, washing the morning dishes (because they’re plastic). She can empty the dishwasher and knows how to sort the silverware. She knows how to sort clothes and is teaching Ace how to do that. She can empty the dryer and is now learning how to put clothes from the washer into the dryer and how to operate the washing machine and dryer. She’s also learning how to make her bed.
Ace can do a lot of what Zoe is doing but is still too short to reach the washing machine.
Liam likes to “help” with the dishes…mainly playing in the water. He can take the clothes downstairs and he can help put clothes in the washing machine.
I’ve heard people complain because their children don’t do anything. Or they say they are too young. I think people can underestimate kids abilities. However, I also know that adults can expect perfection. My children don’t do all of their chores correctly, and I don’t punish because of that. I don’t expect perfection from them when they do chores. My main goal is to teach them how to do it right. It’s a learning process and when you start early, I think it’s easier because they know this is how it’s going to be and they need to contribute to the family just like mom and dad do.
I wrote all of that because I was so excited when Zoe wanted to empty the washing machine and she was able to get up on a step stool and do it. She was so excited about learning how to use the machines…stay tuned for the post on how all my whites turned pink because I let Zoe do the wash 🙂