One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to teach your child to work hard. It can begin when your child is very young – even as young as a year old. You can begin to teach them to pick up their toys. My daughter loved to help unload the dishwasher, particularly the silverware, from around the age of 18 months old. It’s important to begin while your child is young and make it a way of life.
They are part of the family; therefore, they can help out, no matter how young they are. Young children usually like to help out. They think it’s fun. Give them a toilet brush and tell them they can clean the toilet bowl and they love it. Of course, they will probably later decide that helping out isn’t fun. It’s important, at that point, to make sure they continue to do chores.
Raymond and Dorothy Moore, authors of The Successful Homeschool Family Handbookstate that chores should be integrated into a child’s school day. I definitely agree. If your child sits still to do school assignments for a certain time period, they could then take some time to do one of their chores. This helps break up the day. It gives them a chance to move and stretch their legs; it also gives them a mental break for a few minutes.
It is hard for young children to sit still for long periods of time. It is particularly difficult for young boys. They need get up and move. Then when they return to their school work, they will be better able to concentrate again.
Children can dust, vacuum, load and unload the dishwasher, clean bathrooms, pick up toys, etc. Here is a list of age appropriate chores:
2-5 Year Olds
Pick up toys and straighten room
Help unload dishwasher
Help wash or rinse dishes by hand; dry and put them away
Help make the bed
Help with cooking
Set the table
Clear their place at the table
Run a lightweight stick vacuum or use a handheld vacuum under the table after meals
Help carry groceries in and put items away
Take out the trash
Help feed pets
Load the dishwasher
Yard and garden work
Fold and put away laundry
Clean kitchen counters
Do laundry with supervision
Mow and trim the lawn
Help with younger siblings
Do laundry independently
Help with grocery shopping
We need to teach our kids to work hard because when they are grown, they will have to face reality. You don’t want them to be shocked by it – therefore, begin to prepare them now. Involve them in the day-to-day upkeep of your home. Make it a natural part of life. They will thank you for it one day.
“Every job is a self portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.” – Author Unknown
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin