I know this may surprise you, but your toddler can do a lot more than you think! Or maybe it is no surprise to you and you’re constantly amazed at how smart your little tot is. I definitely go back and forth. Sometimes I am amazed at what both my kid’s can figure out, and other times I pretty much expect that they should be able to do a few things for themselves. What I find funny, is even as I see my child start to manage a lot more on their own, I don’t start asking them to. I still run around picking up their socks, picking up their shoes, getting them dressed, putting toys away, and the list goes on.
It hit me one day that I was trying to do everything on my own and my kids were starting to get to an age where they could help. I want my kids to be helpers and I want them to learn to take the initiative to help out when they see things that need to be done, so why wouldn’t I start instilling those habits in them from a young age? Why not start now?
So, I tried it out. I started asking Jase to make his bed. For all you OCD mamas out there, this is a hard one. A three year old making their bed isn’t like a mama making hers. Just smile, nod your head, tell them they did a great job, and then go make your bed as perfectly as you want. Just don’t touch theirs, they worked hard and you want them to be proud of what they did. Next I started asking Elyse to put her dirty clothes in her basket and her shoes in her closet. Elyse isn’t even two yet and she was excited to help! Right now, both the kids are excited about their tasks and I am sure one day it won’t be as easy to get them to help out. But right now, I am instilling in them a love for helping and a sense of responsibility.
Not only that, but mama you are taking a lot of pressure off yourself when you ask your kids to help out. Don’t feel bad about enlisting help from your children because it’s important that they learn the importance of helping out around the house at a young age. You can make it fun, you can make games out of it, you can teach your kids in a way that doesn’t make chores seem like work, but a privilege and responsibility to be thankful for.
I updated the kid’s chore charts that I shared here a few months ago to make them a bit more conducive to their age and I wanted to share them with you. You can download and print them for free here.
When did you start asking your kids to help out around the house? What kind of tasks do they like to help with?