Teaching children responsibility is something we, as parents, should start doing when our kiddos are young. If we don’t start when they’re young (toddlers) then it only gets harder to raise good, responsible kids who will grow into responsible adults. And, that’s the ultimate goal isn’t it? To raise our kids so that they grow to become good citizens who are valued within their communities? Well, it all starts at home.
If you are like me then you grew up doing chores around the house. My parents always expected my brother and I to help out as we were members of the household too. Now that I’m a parent, I have come to respect the way my parents raised me. Doing chores did more than make me contribute to the family. It taught me what responsibility was, the satisfaction that comes from starting and completing a task and what it means to help those around me. So, what are some chores you can give young children to do? Below are a few ideas.
- Hang up clothing. My oldest son is four (4) and while he isn’t capable of folding towels or his clothing yet, he is able to hang up his school shirts and dress shirts and put them in the closet where they go. All I have to do is lay them out flat on the bed for him and he does the rest. When he gets a little older, I’ll teach him how to fold underwear, match socks and fold towels but for now, I’m happy with him hanging up his clothing.
- Bring the trash in to be emptied. Every child is different and while some four year olds are capable of emptying their trash without making a mess, my son isn’t quite there yet. So, for the time being, I have him bring his trash can to me when I’m emptying trashes in preparation for the “trash man.” I also have him bring me the trash out of the office and the guest bathroom and then put them back up.
- Put dirty clothes up. Every night when it’s time for a shower, I have my son undress and put all of his dirty clothes in the dirty clothes hamper. In my mind, there isn’t any reason why I should still be picking up his clothes and putting them away. I also make sure he puts the dirty towels in their respective basket after his shower too.
- Pick up toys. Finally, I make my son pick up his own toys and put them away. I try to do this every night before he goes to bed, but sometimes a day gets skipped. However, I don’t pick up his toys for him. My little guy is old enough to learn the importance of taking care of his things and if a toy gets lost or misplaced, I use that as a learning experience and reiterate why we put our things away when we’re finished with them.