I’m a big advocate of having chores for kids to do. I had chores that ranged from cleaning the bathrooms, to emptying the dishwasher, to mowing the grass, and even getting up on Saturday mornings at 6 am during the summer to pick beans, okra, squash, and tomatoes in our garden. My parents instilled the importance of hard work and the need for chores and responsibility into me at a young age. It’s made me into the person I am today.
I’ve read a lot about assigning chores to your kids, when you should do it and what they should be. I haven’t put much stock into what I’ve read, but I have found that Davey loves to help and if I can turn the chores into a sort of game or competition then he’s on board.
We keep a stool in our kitchen specifically for Davey so he can help with everything from putting dishes up in the dishwasher (usually it’s just the eating utensils minus the knives), to wiping down the counter and even helping to cook/make his own breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Putting up the utensils makes for a fun game of matching and mixing up the batter for the pancakes gives him a sense of accomplishment.
Last week, I raked leaves up in our backyard. Davey, being the eager little helper that he is, grabbed his own rake, and followed suit. He then helped pick up the leaves and toss them into the lawn bags and even managed to pull a few bags over to the fence for easier disposal. I told him he didn’t need to, but with his eager and willing eyes he said, “I help too, Mama.” Made me smile.
He loves to vacuum and dust. Give this kid a Swiffer duster and he goes to town all while creating his own little song! I love it. He makes up his bed, puts away his clothes, and even manages to read to Henry while I’m nursing him. What a helper!
Recently, he’s begun doing laundry. Ok, ok, don’t worry he’s nowhere near the laundry detergent and we don’t have any of those pods which can be confused for candy with kids. What he does do is separate out the laundry, and with his trusty little stool, loads up the washing machine. I’m just amazed as to how much he loves doing this stuff.
And of course, he has his own little lawn mower, so that he can “help dada mow grass.”
It’s not that I’ve purposefully tried to push chores on him at a young age. I ask him to clean up his toys before going down for a nap or getting something else out to play with. Usually, I must help him with cleaning up the toys, but he does put forth the effort. I know this is and will instill in him the same core beliefs and strengths that molded me into the person I’ve become. I know it will make him understand a sense of responsibility at some point down the road. At this point, I’m just tickled pink he loves “helping” so much. I just hope he loves to help this much as gets older, because like it or not he WILL “help”. I’ve already begun daydreaming about my relaxing days ahead when he and his brother will be responsible for mowing the grass and taking out the trash. And let me tell you, this Mama won’t be cleaning up their bathroom either. It’s bad enough I have to clean up after their daddy! I’m not touching their bathroom with a ten foot pole!
Right now, Davey loves to boast that he’s “Mommy’s Little Helper”. I’ve even contemplated getting him a shirt made like that. Perhaps I’ll have a shirt made for him each year with that slogan so as to perhaps “embarrass” him into doing his fair share when he finally decides it’s not quite so cool to do chores. Evil or genius? Whatever it takes. 🙂