As your young children get a bit older and begin learning how to do certain things independently, such as feeding and dressing themselves, putting away their toys, and helping you with minor tasks around the house, you may want to think about the idea of instituting chores for each family member — including the kids! Children who complete chores feel a sense of self-worth and accomplishment, and they learn that contributing to the family as a whole is worthwhile. At Child’s World Academy in Monroe, we believe that introducing kids to chores is a great step to take during their preschool and pre-K years, so here are a few tips to help them get started!
Make sure that your children know that chores are non-negotiable. When you introduce the plan to your family, make it clear that everyone in the family has responsibility to complete their chores, and that they must be completed according to the schedule. You may want to institute consequences when chores are not completed, such as a loss of dessert or screen time. Expect a bit of complaining! Kids may not love the idea of regularly scheduled chores, especially if they’ve spent the day playing at daycare or doing preschool activities, but you should move forward with your plan even if the tinier members of your family are not thrilled.
You may want to tailor each child’s chores to their age, abilities, and preferences. If you know for a fact that your child likes to help you with dinner by setting and clearing the table, make that a regular chore that your child will look forward to. If your little one is a little bit nervous around the family pet, do not make feeding the pet that child’s chore.
Consider adding one chore at a time. Introducing a whole host of chores per child may overwhelm them, so you may want to start small. Introduce the idea of multiple household chores per family member, and start everyone off with something small and manageable. After your children have mastered these tasks, add more challenging chores to their schedule, which they’ll learn to balance with other parts of their life, like going to preschool and practicing numbers, letters, shapes, and colors at home.
Of course, your attitude will have a real effect on how your children feel about their own chores. If you view your own chores as essential tasks that allow the household to run smoothly, and carry them out with a sense of fun, your kids will follow suit.
Have you instituted a chore schedule in your family? How did your children react? How do you reinforce the plan with the youngest members of your family? Let us know in the comments section, and contact our Monroe daycare center to learn about our childcare and preschool programs!