Smart parents should start teaching kids responsibility at a young age. The best way to do so is by teaching them simple house chores from the time baby is a toddler and can walk around independently. Do not think they are too young, for chores teach kids work ethic, responsibility and general cleanliness. Even if you have passed the toddler stage, it is never too late to get them involved in household responsibilities which can make them live organized lives.
Here are a few tips on teaching kids the simplest responsibility like house chores:
Prioritize in your mind what you want your kid to learn from doing chores
Start them young
Make tidying a game
Be organized yourself
Have a chore chart
Teach them a few basic chores which could be
o Tidying their room
o Watering plants
o Folding laundry
o Simple cooking
o Take out the garbage
First a parent usually the Mom must decide what they wish their kids to learn from doing chores. For example, learn cooking or simply help Mom with the dishes, learn to take out garbage or how to separate recyclables and how to dispose off different types of garbage. Actually a lot depends on the age of a child. The most basic chore is to make a bed and even toddlers can do this. Start with a bed cover your baby loves; teach them how to make the bed, plump pillows and such. If your baby likes the bedding, he or she could be motivated to make the bed regularly.
Tidying their room and putting away toys is the first chore that a child is usually taught. A toddler can be told that each toy must live in a particular shelf or drawer and that they will feel lonely if left out. This could motivate baby to put away toys when done for the day. Dont wait till they are very tired to tidy the room. Make tidying a game like singing and dancing when putting away things. Kids catch on fast and even if they fuss a bit in the beginning, a firm hand will settle the matter. If there are two kids, make it a small competition to see who can tidy faster giving a treat to them for a job well done.
However, do not make a mistake of comparing and criticizing. Rather praise all your kids and make sure they are given treats in turn. By periodic tidying, parents can identify excess or unused toys especially when new ones come during festivals or birthdays. At this time, separate the ones kids dont play with and give it away to charity. This will also teach an important lesson on helping those who are less fortunate.
Tasks should not become mundane and repetitive. Kids interest needs to be sustained and what could aid you is the chore chart. For this, parents need to be organized themselves. Make one chart for daily chores and weekly chores with small stickers to indicate when the work is done. As an incentive, they could be given a small amount of pocket money for accumulating five stickers, or an ice cream treat for three stickers etc.
For small kids, the chart can be accompanied by small drawings so that they can easily identify tasks. For example, if kids are being taught to fold and put away their clothes, their drawers could have small pictures of towels, T-shirts, shorts etc., so that they will know what has to go where. Always teach age appropriate chores like teach them to fold small clothes, then bigger clothes, to separating laundry, putting them in the machine and then starting the wash cycle, as they get older.
Even with cooking, small kids can help with mixing and even shaping a few cookies. This can expand as they grow older until teenagers can cook an entire family dinner at least once a week. Gardening is a fun task that lot of kids like. Start with watering a few pots and expand it slowly to include weeding, mowing the lawn and such. An important chore that kids can be taught is to take care of the family pet bathing, feeding and walking. Dont feel that teaching kids these chores is an added chore for you you are not only acquiring a helpmate now, but helping them to cope brilliantly when they move out on their own.
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