A clean and tidy surrounding brings peace of mind and a happy heart. A comfortable place gives us the serenity that we always deserve.
These are my mottos when it comes to the cleanliness and tidiness of my home. Too bad because I learned it a little bit late, but what’s good is that I am able to instill these to my children and help them give value to it.
Proudly, I would like to share the amazing journey of teaching my kids about the importance of doing chores in our home. At 4 years old, my eldest son knows how to wash dishes (with my supervision, of course, I don’t want him to break anything), he knows how to fold his clothes and put them in his drawers, he knows how to sweep the floor neatly(including the corners and under the furniture), and lastly, he knows when he should help me when I need a hand in doing something inside our home. He’s always curious and I love letting him learn these things as early as now.
When Chores are Taught a Little Bit Late
Well, this is what happened to me. My parents are both teachers so they’re gone most of the days. In our time, daycare is still not that known. We have a nanny or babysitter instead to look after us. What we do all day is to have fun, go to school, get back home, watch tv, play, learn new things, but NOT chores. When we got older, like around teens, that’s when they demanded for us to help around. Yet, because I never really got used to it, I slack off and never got to love doing it.
I avoided doing chores when I could, and that became a problem during adulthood. I realize I didn’t really know how to properly wash clothes. I ruined most of mine with bleach. I wanted to have an organized room and yet I find it hard to do. I don’t know how and where I should start. Realization hit me hard that chores are very important. I’m not rich so I don’t have a house help. That’s when I decided to never let my children experience the same kind of failure.
How to Teach Kids to Do Chores
If you are wondering what chores you should introduce to the young once, here is a guide and a great help towards the success of this journey.
Let me now start giving some tips and secrets of how I was able to train my child to learn and love the chores.
Watch and Learn
At a young age, let your child sit in front of you as you do chores. Example, washing dishes? Put him in his high chair beside you so he could observe.
Folding clothes? – Let him sit beside you and give him his own shirt so he could try doing it too. Learning should be fun so talk to him in a nice way, explaining how things should be done.
Giving Importance to Every Chore
While you show and teach them a chore or any responsibility around the house, tell them how these chores are relevant in your daily living. How failure of doing it can cause trouble or mess inside your home. Instill into their minds and hearts the importance of doing every chore, even if not at once.
Let me share a story. Once, we had a vacation to some other place. And so, as expected, when we got home, we got so many dirty clothes waiting to be laundered. My son (3 years old that time) said to me “Mom, we should do the laundry because it has piled up. We might ran out of clothes to wear!”. So I did the laundry that day with my little helper. He just loved watching and participating whatever way he could.
Always Show Appreciation
The truth is, kids always love being complimented. This makes them feel that they have really contributed something. What you can do is let them know that you are proud and happy. Tell them they are being such a responsible and good boy whenever they do the chores. This will encourage them to do it often and love it more.
Doing It The Other Way Around
If your kids show only a little interest towards helping with the chores and not so enthusiastic about it, try it this way, this helped me too. When they are being messy and won’t help in keeping their toys after playing, when everything seems to be too untidy, then keep it that way. Don’t follow them around cleaning everything after them, they will get used to it. Later on, when they can’t find a specific toy or when there’s no longer a proper space they could play, they will realize how messy things are (especially if it has always been clean and tidy before that). That’s when you start telling them that it’s because they had been a little too messy and mommy can no longer keep up. Tell them that next time, even while playing, they should return the toys they didn’t want to play and get only what they need. And of course, keep everything after playing so toys won’t get lost too.
Always Be Consistent
Decided to give them a little responsibility? Like flowering the plants, putting dishes away after meals, helping you in putting folded clothes to the drawers, then always be consistent about it. Not that they have to do it everyday, but rather encourage them to do it often, until it becomes a habit, until they learn it by heart.
Let me share again, my husband’s grandpa is a military officer and he has always been strict especially when it comes to food being scattered around the table and floor while eating. He hates that. My husband adapted to that and taught our kids to be extra careful about it too. At this point, my son would stop eating intentionally to clean his messy table because he learned how to love having it clean while he’s there eating.
I am a very proud Mom of how my kids had turned out to be responsible around the house, unlike me when I was younger. More than having a clean and comfortable home for myself, what I’m most thankful of is that I know in my heart that if their attitude towards chores would stay this way or develop until they grow up, they will not have a hard time adjusting to it when they’ll be on their own. It will be a burden lifted from their shoulders. And of course, when they’ll settle down someday, they will be great husbands who will be very responsible around the house too, just like their dad.