BY Rashmi Jalan
15 Jul 2022
Doing household chores are an important part of being a family unit. Involving kids in household chores is not only about making them help you. It also inculcates essential life skills in them that are necessary for the future. It will help them when they move out for college or start living alone.
How to Get Your Kids Involved in Chores
Chores become repetitive and are not liked even by adults. However, they are essential building blocks for leading an organized, healthy, and stress-free life. So while it is necessary to train your kids in life skills, it will be helpful if you go about it in a phased manner.
Start with allotting chores that are appropriate for their age and abilities. Avoid giving a task that is difficult for them. It can be frustrating and can cause stress to the kid. Something like picking up toys and keeping them in the right place is an easy task to start with.
Emphasise the importance of the task for the family. The child would be more motivated to participate if they know that it makes a difference to the family as a whole. Some key points to keep in mind are:
- Do the allotted chores with your kids together till they can do them on their own
- Set down the tasks involved clearly and the time of day they have to do it. You can make a schedule and place it on the fridge.
- Show an interest in how they are doing it and keep praising them while they are at it.
- Encourage them by emphasizing the value of their participation and generous praise.
- Sometimes they will forget to do the chore or might make mistakes. While it may be a simple thing to do, avoid scolding them or humiliating them for it. You may emphasize the need for consistency but in a calm and relaxed tone.
- Do not expect the perfection and expertise of an adult. If it is done well, accept their way to do tasks a bit differently as well.
- You should not offer rewards or promises in exchange for completing a task. Your kids should understand that participating in chores and household errands are parts of being an involved family member. Avoid promising money, TV time, gift, or reward.
- Be fair and have the same rules for all your kids. Playing favouritism will cause troubles not only with you but also between siblings.
10 Chores That Kids Can Help You With
- Organizing the Shoe Stand - One of the easiest chores for kids, even young ones can be engaged in this. Make it their responsibility to place their shoes always in the shoe stand in an organized manner
- Grocery Planning - there are many activities that your kid can do as per their age. For little ones below 6, you can take their help to put away groceries in the proper place. For bigger kids below 10, you can enlist their help in shopping and putting away grocery items. For kids above 11 years, you can involve them in making the grocery list along with the previous activities.
- Table Setting - You can assign certain tasks to your kid before sitting down for a meal. Some of them can be keeping placemats, plates, cutlery, glass, and water bottles on the table. After the meal, the kid can help in cleaning the table as well.
- Help With Laundry - Kids can help in folding clean laundry and keeping them in the almirah. Older kids can be responsible for putting dirty laundry in the machine and taking them out to dry.
- Keeping Away Toys - Playtime can leave a lot of mess behind, especially with little ones. It is of utmost importance that kids are taught to pack their toys away in the box, shelf, or cupboard. It is always a good idea to designate a place to keep away the toys after playing.
- Making Bed - Kids can help in making their beds after waking up. You can supervise children below 8. They can help in straightening the sheets and pillows. Older kids can do these by themselves.
- Weekly Meal Planning - for a family with kids, planning the weekly menu is a great organising tool. That becomes the precursor to grocery and supplies shopping. It also takes a lot of effort. Involve your kids in weekly meal planning. They will learn planning, and organizing, and also will be more engaged with the food that they eat.
- Dusting - give the responsibility of dusting the tables, bookshelf, and their rooms. Avoid giving them higher areas, television, loose mirrors, or unbarred windows. You should also avoid allotting dusting if your child has a dust allergy.
- Watering Plants - Watering plants and gardens is an easy task. It will also inculcate a love of gardening in your little ones as they learn to take care of various plants.
- Feeding Pets - If you have any pets at home then involve your kids in taking care of them. While they can accompany you for walking the dog or the cat, it is more suitable if you give them feeding responsibility. Teach them the right portion and ask them to take out the feed and water for the pets.
Kids emulate the behaviour of the adults at home. It is therefore equally important that you lead by example and do your chores on time. More often than not, they are excited to participate in the family stuff. Make it fun, encourage them, and underline the importance of life skills for the future.