At the moment my oldest son is helping out with lawn care and my youngest son is trying vey hard to avoid being seem so he won’t be tapped for chores. The question I was thinking about is how to get your children to help out in the house or basically how to do their fair share of household chores. Or even what is their fair share? Also at what age do your children start helping? They cannot start like everyone else, so what is appropriate?
I know that pediatricians have timetables for when and what a child should be doing in the house but of course as with most things having to do with development our children pay no heed to pediatric timetables. So I got to thinking just when did they do what they do. Well of course if anyone had read my blog about lieing you would know that there are some chores that my children do because of fibbing. But then again they were teenagers when the chores began so I am not really sure if that would apply to younger children.
You really have to look at your child and figure out what they understand and even more important what they can actually physically do. I know my younger one could not in anyway fold towels when he was little. He had OT issues and even to day has problems folding the towels, but he still gets to do it, I just had to realize that the towel closet is going to look a little messy. Once you get a handle on your child and take all the factors into consideration I would really start slow. Get them to help set the table. Even if they don’t do this until they are ten because they have spatial and counting issue. However, putting out the placemats for each person is a place to start when they are really little.This is a good beginning because it is also social and makes the concept of eating together,i.e., the social intercourse, important. Here is a list of small chores that my children learned to do over time:
1. set the table
2. bring down the dirty clothes to the laundry
3. straighten their room (this with help because organization is a big problem)
4. clear the table after dinner
5. vaccuumming and or sweeping
6. helping wash and wax the cars (fun daddy time)
Also, if your child receives OT ask the therapist what chores if any they can do and when to start. They should have the best idea of what physically your child can accomplish. Remember chores are about helping your child feel good about himself just as much as giving him a feeling of belonging to the family and some future skill set.
You may also know that my oldest helps out with the cleaning of the house. He vaccuums, cleans the toilets and yesterday started dusting. He did an extensive job, it took him 3 and one-half hours to dust a 1700 sq. foot house.
Just an aside: I do not let him do laundry. Last time he ruined clothes and I had to go out and buy all new pants. That was some years ago, I may get braver in the near future.
Outside lawncare seems to be of interest to them. They are helping with the mulching, mowing, dog-poop picking up (this one is easiest for the younger one), raking, putting down grass seed and right now my oldest is laying out weed blocker.
I have to say, it is nice to have the help in the house. It’s also nice to see that they are able to help and learn to take care of themselves.
On a completely unrelated note: today is the anniversary of D-Day. May we pause for a few moments and thank the greatest generation for its sacrifice and marvel at the untold bravery of stepping off those troopboats onto the shores of Normandy straight into the hellfire of NAZI bullets. They knew there was a tremendous chance of death or worse, but they went. Duty, Honor, Country, Freedom. And furthermore, let us not forget those today who sacrifice for us. For they are the best of us and deserve our admiration and respect. God bless them and keep them safe.
Until next time,