Ever feel like you’re running around trying to get every household chore completed in time before your little one wakes up from their nap? Or maybe you wait until your little angels go to bed to put that load of laundry in for the night, clean up the dishes, and take out the trash? Hold your rush. Deep breaths. Instead of doing all of the hard work yourself, take your child up on it when they ask if they can help. It might be hard at first because you have to teach them how to do it, but it’s a great long-term investment. Eventually, they’ll be doing chores and following routines independently because…gasp…they actually want to.
As a gift, my 3-year-old received a play vacuum cleaner. He played with it for a few hours on end, and then left it in the corner of his room to collect dust for me to vacuum up. One day while vacuuming under the kitchen table, my son asked if he could vacuum. My immediate reaction was “Not right now, I’ve got to get this mess cleaned up.” But about halfway through vacuuming and trying to maneuver around my son, a lightbulb went off!
After a few moments, I finally said, “Hey, you want to try and vacuum the rest of the floor up?”
A big smile moved across his face as he exclaimed, “YES!”
I hadn’t seen him this excited. I handed him the purple, cordless vacuum cleaner and he turned it on and went to work. I turned around and started putting away toys, keeping an eye on him every 30 seconds or so. To my surprise, he was doing a pretty good job, and he was having fun. I wish I had that much fun vacuuming!
Just the other day, he wanted to learn how to wipe off the kitchen counter, crack the eggs to help make breakfast, and put away the silverware. Wow! What a helper! I felt so proud. All of this because he asked to vacuum and I decided to let him!
So do yourself a favor and let your little ones help when they ask, and both of your lives will get a little easier!
So let me sum up the secret:
- If your child asks to help with a chore, show them how it’s done and let them have free reign. Don’t worry about it being perfect. The more practice and consistency, the better they will get. Right now, it’s all about making it a fun habit for them when they actually want to do it!
- Your child wants to help. Eventually, you are going to want your child to help around the house. And there’s a good chances that if you never let them help you, they probably will decline when you actually want them to help. Make teaching them and letting them help you an investment by having them help early and often. It’s a great long-term investment for you and your child.
- Your child is going to love it! They are going to feel like a big-old-grown-up person. They are going to feel powerful, in control, and on top of th world. Have you ever seen an adult doing chores with a smile on their face? Here’s your chance to live vicariously through your child!
As always, supervise your child with chores, make sure what they are asking to help with is reasonable and not dangerous for their age, and most importantly, revel with them in their excitement and have fun!
Looking for strategies for positive discipline?
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Enjoy doing chores around your house with your little ones? Let me know in the comments below!