Upbringing Your Child

Age-appropriate Chores-It’s Never Too Early To Teach Them!

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Does your ambivalent mindset stop you from making children help in the household chores? Are you unable to figure out if your child is ready to participate in dusting the furniture or mopping the floor? If yes then here are some tactics that may help you calm those conflicting thoughts and achieve the goal!

Teach, encourage and praise children:

Children like importance and enjoy being responsible contributors of the family if you teach them the value of work during their early childhood. Household chores are considered pure drudgery by children of those parents who either don’t like doing chores themselves or those who can survive in a house that resembles more or less a junk yard.  It is very obvious that finishing chores in time does not bring any gratification to children but if they are encouraged and praised for their efforts it helps build a positive momentum and they learn and understand why participating in household work is important to their family.

Avoid this three letter word -> NAG:

In Pakistani families doing chores like mopping, dusting, sweeping and cooking are a tradition. This helps children follow their elders as they grow. Toddlers and preschoolers imitate their parents although they are not as helpful as we hope them to be, it is important they are allowed to participate atleast so as to keep their positive habit of helping alive. However as children grow their enthusiasm diminishes, they get involved in ten other activities which are more exciting and stimulating. Remember, nagging children into complying is not the solution, instead give them a break or speak to them about it. You can also fix a time for each chore, if done in time you reward your child with an allowance or a treat and if not done in time you associate a cost to it like putting them to bed early or not allowing any cartoon time.

Set a time-table:

It is important you structure your child’s time. With all the school work and co-curricular activities it is difficult for children to concentrate or any additional responsibility. It is best you assign chores during your child’s weekend or summer vacation. Chores can be mundane and boring but they can lead to something exciting hence get your children finish off tiding up their rooms the first thing daily and after that they can have the rest of the day to do what they like. Set a chore time for every child so no one feels left out and all the work is done in required time.

Don’t stress on perfection:

Every child is an individual and takes his/her own time to learn. It is important you stay relaxed when your children are not doing their chores your way. No one is perfect hence jumping in to do it the right way or correcting them every two minutes undermines the whole point. It is better to teach them how to do things step by step with you first and when they get the hang of it they can be left to go solo.

Choose age-appropriate chores:

Toddlers can be asked to put their toys back in place once they have finished playing, shift light weight things from one place to another and wipe up spills. Children of age 4 to 6 are good with making their beds and tidying their rooms, they can also help clearing the table and sort laundry. Age group 7 to 10 and older can help sweeping the floor or vacuuming, dusting furniture, they can prepare tea or snacks, fold laundry, baby-sit their younger siblings, help in cleaning the kitchen, and wash the car. etc.

It is important you teach your children (both boys and girls) the basic housekeeping skills so they become helpful, responsible and capable adults later in life. 

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