Kids and Jobs

I’m a fan of involving young children in household chores. It all started one summer when I worked in a child care center. At mealtimes, different kids had different jobs: one would pass out napkins, another would use a hand broom, and another would use a Dust-buster to clean the floor, etc. I was impressed with what I saw. After all, it seems easier to just send a young child out of the room while you’re cleaning. Things get done a lot faster when you don’t have to take time to make sure a little one does it right. But I observed the benefits of teaching young children to help with chores. They really can be helpful, and they are beginning habits that will benefit them and you in the long run. And they love it! Young children consider it a high privilege to help Mommy work around the house. (Ever notice how popular toy vacuums, ironing boards, etc. are with young children? I’ve seen my daughter and another girl fighting over a toy iron…go figure!)

My three-year-old puts away the silverware (after I’ve removed the sharp stuff) once it’s been through the dishwasher. She’s very proud of her job and will even ask to stop eating breakfast if she thinks I’m going to do it without her. She’s also an excellent lettuce-tearer. So, that’s her job now. She can make her bed, put things in the trash, and help Mommy stir ingredients. And some of these things actually save me time.

Now my 2-year-old, on the other hand…..We’re still in the “it’s taking me more time to teach you how to do this right” phase. He doesn’t put away the silverware without supervision. I can handle it that he mixes all the utensils together instead of putting them in their right spots. But the fact that he thinks he needs to lick each item before putting it away…..that’s a little too much! 🙂

Published in: on April 2, 2007 at 9:31 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I like this post, Addy.

    I recently gave my two-year-old a bottle of vinegar and sent her to my windows. When I mentioned this to Lee later that afternoon, he asked, “Do the windows look better?” I had to admit there wasn’t a significant improvement… But it’s better than Miss Tornado pulling toys out of the toybox while I clean, so I’m all for it!

  2. On Wednesday, my two “helpers” helped me paint the bedroom. My 4-yr. old painted along the trim (taped) on the bottom of the wall while 2-yr. old free painted with a very small brush on the walls. Now I need to re-paint the trim and have the carpet professionally cleaned, but it was fun…I think 🙂

  3. Wow, Dana! You’re definitely a more patient woman than I am! 🙂

    This reminds me of a neat memory. One of my friends growing up had a big, unusual closet with lots of open space on the walls. Her mom let us draw all over the walls. Last time I checked, our “artwork” and messages were still there, and it remains as a little “time capsule” of our friendship and our 4th-grade-ish minds.

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