Giving your child chores from a young age helps her learn responsibility and avoid a false sense of entitlement, all while allowing her to be an active part of the household. Even toddlers can get in on the action, establishing a routine of helping out around the house with a list of responsibilities that can increase as he gets older. Adopting a new policy of assigning chores to older kids isn’t always easy, but you can avoid those struggles by making household chores a part of your little one’s life from an early age with these age-appropriate tasks.
Helping to Make His Bed
A toddler won’t be able to make his bed to military perfection, but he can help pull up the covers and smooth them out to the best of his abilities. As he gets older and more capable, you can gradually give him more ownership over the task. When he’s still young, making the bed together gives you a chance to teach and help him perfect new skills.
Putting Toys Away
Arranging your child’s room so that toy boxes are accessible and bins are easily reached makes it possible for him to clean up after himself when playtime is over. Helping a toddler take ownership of his own belongings and clean up messes he makes lets him know that he’s responsible for keeping his things nice, and that it’s not up to other people to cater to his every whim. While it may seem a bit harsh to send a little one such a strong message, it’s one of the more effective ways of helping him avoid the sense of entitlement that comes with the idea that everyone else in his life owes him something.
Taking Dirty Clothes to a Laundry Basket
Switching out a tall laundry hamper for a lower, more accessible basket makes it easier for your child to deposit his own dirty clothes inside after he removes them. When the time comes to do laundry, working together to sort each load not only gives him a task that benefits the household as a whole, but also gives the two of you a chance to work on color identification, matching and other developmental skills.
Putting Away Some of His Laundry
Obviously, your toddler won’t be able to hang his clothes in the closet on a rod that’s far above his head, but he can place his own items in drawers and bins with your direction. After you’ve worked on learning where things go and how to properly place them, he’ll be able to handle the task without such close supervision and assistance.
Putting a pair of socks on your toddler’s hands and sending him off to dust surfaces that are lower to the ground is another chore that benefits the household as a whole, and also helps to instill an appreciation for cleanliness. Make a game of collecting as much dust as possible on the socks if you have more than one young child to get everyone in on the action.
Helping to Clean Up Spills
Spills, splashes, puddles and smears are par for the course when you have a toddler in the house, which is why it’s so important for them to learn how to help with cleanup. Watching you wearily mop up every spill sends your child the message that it’s your job to clean up messes he makes and that he’s not expected to help out when he has an accident.
Basic Pet Care
Pets are great additions to the family, and can help your child understand the responsibility that comes with being in charge of another living creature. You will want to make sure that your child is fully supervised during pet care chores, though. It’s easy for a toddler to think that a little bit of fish food is good, so the whole bottle must be better. Rather than letting him overfeed the fish and learning an early lesson about the cycle of life, make sure that you keep your eyes peeled and offer assistance when he needs it.
This post is used with permission from Hire a Nanny.
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