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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Click Here to find out Why Saying Yes is the Most Powerful Positive Reinforcement Tip for Toddlers

Looking for a FREE visual for chores, routines, potty training, and positive behavior-shaping reinforcements? If so, check out this all-in-one story chart! This chart is a FREE Resource For You and Your Toddler. It supports your toddler with chores, routines, potty training, and positive behavior shaping and tells a fish story to keep them entertained! Check out the images below and if you want this download, subscribe to the Simplicity Happens newsletter to gain access to over 20 FREE activities with a secret passcode and more delivered to your inbox monthly!

Work on routines like the “Night Routine” pictured above. Help your toddler work through each task of the night including taking a bath, getting dressed for bed, brushing teeth, and going to bed! For each part of a routine completed or for each full routine completed, move the fish around the pond!
Work on potty training goals. Maybe you want your toddler to tell you when they need to go potty. Maybe you want your toddler to go potty on their own. Maybe you just want to get them in the bathroom and sit on the potty-they don’t even have to go! Whatever step you are on in the potty training process can be incorporated with this chart!
Work on chores like the “Daily Chores” pictured above. Help your toddler work through each chore throughout the day (examples include putting toys away, setting the table, feeding the pets, etc.) Place a movable fish around the pond for each chore complete or at the end of a series of completed chores. Give your child a reward when they reach the end of the pond!
Give extra praise for positive behavior by acknowledging when your child is kind, respectful, listens, follow directions, or makes good choices! Let them move their fish around the pond when you catch them in acts of kindness or completing tasks by listening and following directions!

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Enjoy doing chores around your house with your little ones? Let me know in the comments below!

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