Children like helping – so let them help
When children are small they enjoy copying what their parents do. Now this can be a good thing. For example helping with the washing up. It can also be a bad thing if it means helping themselves to your makeup!
However if your children could help you with some small simple chores would that not be a good thing? Some parents may feel that it is “their job”, to do everything for their children. Most teachers would disagree. Getting children to help with the chores is an opportunity to develop a range of skills that will be useful in every day life. It can help with organisation, maths, concentration and even resilience.
The thing is – sometimes it is easier to encourage the children to just carry on playing with their own toys and games. After all it is going to take twice as long and be done half as well if you let them join in with what you are doing. So generally the default setting is it is just easier, quicker and more efficient if you just do stuff yourself.
Take a new approach
With the summer approaching getting the kids to help you may be a clever and educational way to keep them occupied. Great when you are running behind with the chores and they are telling you that they are a bored.
And actually kids really like helping, well small children do. The bigger variety of kids think they can do it better and in their own way. They are also quite likely to get cross when you interfere. Both present challenges, but letting children help is a really good opportunity for them to learn all sorts of life skills.
How to get kids involved with household chores
If you have chores to do, try to get the children involved. This is an opportunity for you to show them how to do things. Yes it will take longer for you to vacuum, dust, wash up, or change their beds, but they and you will both benefit from the interaction in the long term. The trick here is to keep the activities simple, not too time consuming and make them fun.
Big kids, can be more of a challenge. If joining in with the chores just isn’t an option giving them a schedule of chores that you would like to be done daily or weekly over the school holidays. Give a prize or pocket-money when they have completed the tasks or at the end of the holiday.
The trick here is to make sure that you put good ground rules in place, and don’t succumb to doing the chores yourself. This can be an easy trap to fall in because you want it now and they say they are planning to do it in “when they feel like it” time.
Make it a habit
Taking responsibility for stuff that needs to be done is a bit like remembering to brush your teeth at night. It is a habit. Coaching and working alongside your children whether they are pre school or teenagers on household or garden projects is n opportunity to interact.
If you are working together on a project whether it is the washing up or cutting the grass it is a form of team building. Yes it may take longer and be not done quite the way you would like it. A better way to look at it is that is part of your own personal challenge.