We live in an era of unprecedented convenience. In the past, even the smallest family members were expected to help out and contribute to the family, but these days the load is often shouldered by the parents alone. Although at first it may seem like this is better for the children, it can actually backfire and result in entitled, dissatisfied children and stressed out adults. Delaying having children help out around the house until they are older can also backfire, as children who are unaccustomed to sharing the work will find it much more difficult to become responsible all at once.
The best solution is to begin having children help out when they’re toddlers, and gradually increasing the amount they’re taught as they get older. All along the way clearly teaching them how to do each task, and explaining why it needs to be done helps them to feel important and to maintain a cheerful attitude. For example, you would demonstrate the proper way to make a sandwich so that they could have it for their school lunch, show them where to find all the ingredients, and then explain that they can make their lunch while you make dinner, it will leave time to play a game or read a book together later on. This not only helps you out as the parent, it also teaches your children valuable life skills and makes them contributing members of the family, which develops responsibility and independence in them.
Which tasks and which ages you teach them at will really depend on the ability and maturity level of your child, as well as the needs and makeup of your family. Here is a list that most children will be able to handle by the second grade, and you can start teaching how to pick up after themselves or clean up spills as young as age two! All of this should begin with the process of you teaching and doing the chore with them until you’re confident they can handle it safely on their own. The extra time together can become a special and practical way to bond!
There are many great tips and systems out there on how, if, and when to compensate for help around the house. Learning about earning and spending is also a valuable tool for children to develop as well, and we encourage you to research and come up with a plan that will work well for your family!
You already know by now we believe in keeping things as all natural as possible when it comes to your children, so be sure to search Pinterest for some great DIY all natural cleaning solutions or purchase some of the great new options available that are all natural.
Here are the list of chores to begin teaching your young child now! You’ll be amazed at how capable and helpful they really are. Introduce just one new skill at a time, and wait until they’ve mastered it to add on another.
How to Help Young Children Develop Responsibility and Independence
- Turning Off Lights
- Doing The Dishes
- Serving Breakfast
- Preparing/Packing School Lunch
- Watering Plants
- Feed/Water Pets & Clean Up After Them
- Cleaning Their Bedroom
- Helping Tidy Up A Room
- Clean Mirrors/Windows
- Making Their Bed
- Completing a Morning Routine Independently
- Completing a Nighttime Routine Independently Including Prepping for Backpack for School
- Assisting with and Putting Away The Laundry
- Assisting in Cooking/Baking
What chores does your young child help with? Hop over to Facebook to tell us and we’ll keep the conversation going!