Monday, March 28, 2011
Helping Children are HAPPY Children!
As a mother of five children, I have a lot to manage. When everyone takes off their clothes for the day, I have 7 pairs of underwear, 12 pairs of socks, and too many pieces of clothing to count to wash. Our washing machine and dishwasher rarely take a break. In fact, most days I feel like I never leave the kitchen where both of those machines reside!
Therefore, I have been trying to think of ways to alleviate some of my workload. I just can't keep picking up the same puzzle or game board every day. Our children are now triplets who are almost 10, a 7-almost-8 year old, and a 4 year old. While it saddens me that they are no longer 5, 3, and newborn, life has marched on (right across my face!). Therefore, I expect the children to help me with daily tasks.
We do not have a chore chart at our house simply because I expect everyone to help whenever I ask. On certain days one child may carry the heaviest work load while having a lighter load or no load at all on another day. It's not ever going to be even, but we all must help.
If your children are age 2, then they can help you put away their toys and books. They can run and get a diaper for you for the new baby. They can even empty a trash can into the kitchen trash can. At around ages 3 and 4, a child can really help put away their toys in a neater manner. They can brush their teeth, go potty, flush the toilet, and fill a cup (or many buckets) full of water. They may be able to put away their underwear or socks if you direct them on how to do it.
A 5 and 6 year old can collect trash cans from around the house and empty them. They can make their bed, brush their teeth, and even begin to bathe themselves entirely! They can help you set the table or unload the dishwasher.
Seven and eight year olds are big helpers. Our big girls could take care of a young baby, feed a bottle, fold clothes, make their beds better than mine, and serve dinner plates at that age. Now that they are close to 10, they can make the water bottles for school, pack lunches, fill the dishwasher, fold clothes, put away clothes, vacuum, and mop. In fact, our 4 year old LOVES to mop!
Children of around age 7 or older should know how to clean a toilet. Buy the supplies and show them how to do it. We keep a pink sponge for the sink and a different sponge for the toilet and then I always microwave them to kill germs. Explain to your child that the cleaners are poisonous and that you want to wear gloves and old clothes when using chemicals. If your child is not trustworthy with chemicals, then you will need to oversee this chore.
Our friends just visited this weekend and her children loaded all of their dishes in our dishwasher once they were excused from the table. Guess what our children did tonight? They loaded the dishwasher! I am having to let go a little because I like my dishwasher loaded a certain way. I showed them how I like it loaded and explained why. They did a good job of doing it just that way!
What chores do your little ones do? Do you have any questions?