Ever tried washing, cooking, baking with kids
Or spreading sheets, laying tables, or cleaning too
It’s fun, trust me, as I have tried and tested it too
Twitching the clothes
Rolling the bread
Or even washing the cars
It’s fun to dip, squeeze, dust & clean
Kids are fun & the best assistants moms can have
It’s learning, it’s exploring
It’s a fun activity worth trying
To Involve Children in Housework
Growing up with kids is fun and an ever-learning experience. We, as mentors, teach them, and in this parenting journey, we learn a lot from children as well. It depends on how well we train them to do their chores independently, which starts from getting them to do the household chores along with you. It’s important to involve children in housework as it not only teaches them the small activities but also makes them responsible for being a part of a family.
Children can be shaped into unique and marvellous exemplars with adequate love and care, constant encouragement, building resilience and patience, and nurturing positive thoughts. They are shrewd observers and quick learners. Children register and reflect thoughts and responses from parents, other family members, and their surroundings.
Involving kids in household work brings in a positive and supportive environment in the house.
1. Identify Your Child’s Areas Of Interest
It is the instinct for children to enthusiastically get involved in those chores that interest them. So, we as parents must identify their areas of interest before letting them be a part of the household chores. Just have time with them to find out what are they really good at.
It’s not a cumbersome task to involve children in housework if we are little observant of their taste and choice. When you give this space to your children, it automatically kindles their curiosity and they would voluntarily come forward to be a part of the regular chores and also develop their interest in other tasks too.
You may sit with them to jot down the To-Do Tasks with their help so that they understand the list of things to be done for the day. And, you’ll see them executing their errands with lots of interest and happily willing to co-operate with you!
Housework should not be a dragging task for kids, instead, we should try and make it interesting, enjoyable, and entertaining. It is better to inspire them and then involve children in housework when we understand their natural and productive areas.
2. Work Together As A Team
Teamwork has a crucial part when it involves involving children in household work as children always find it inspiring when they perform an activity along with their family members. So, stay by their side and work along with them.
Accompany them, kids love it – be it kitchen chores, or other household stuff. Clean together, or lay tables together, cook together! It undoubtedly boosts their morale and builds confidence in them.
When we work with them kids understand that doing household chores is a way to share equal responsibility and that all family members are equally responsible and should contribute to managing a house.
Family activity when done with the family together can be more fun and learning. Teamwork is lively and does it all!
3. Provide Encouragement
Minding children does not mean to be bossy! When you allocate a piece of work to them, do not try to keep instructing them at every step. Rather, observe them, give them the freedom to explore. Things might go clumsy, initially. Do not get cooked up if they mess up.
You can correct them, offer suggestions, and teach them in a caring way. This would aid them to be free-spirited and develop a sense of self-reliance. For example instead of saying “just do this…” it’s advisable to say “it would be helpful if you can do this…”
The more they feel independent in discharging their duties the finer will be their determination in accomplishing a task. Also, it gives them the recognition that they are capable of doing things individually.
Therefore, we must avoid criticism.
4. Prepare the ‘Tasks to Be Assigned’ List
Before you assign a task to your child, list out the chores, and ensure that they are child-friendly and holds the child’s interest until the end. Take care that the chores are manageable for your child and that he/she also gets enough time to study and play.
There can be a ‘list board’ at home which may be a small magnetic whiteboard that can be attached to your fridge. Keep a marker along with it to write down the list. Now, let your child note down the jobs as you call them out. This would enable him/her to be more aware of the assigned tasks and assist them to remember well.
It would be even more interesting if you could explain the jobs and make them recall what they need to do. This might also provoke them to come up with different ideas or suggestions. Welcome their thoughts and try to include them on the list. Then, they would definitely ace this pursuit.
But, remember that your child’s active participation in preparing the list marks his level of interest in helping you with the chores. And make sure to keep a check from time to time on your child’s progress.
5. Reward Your Child
It is very important to appreciate and reward your child to boost his/ her confidence. A reward in some form is what instigates a child to achieve further. If your child’s job is well done within the timeline, it should be appreciated and rewarded. Keep it as a surprise for them! But, the most important thing to bear in mind is that rewards are only for motivating them and not for bribing your children.
There are different ways of rewarding your child:
- Introduce monetary rewards, only to teach them financial responsibility and not a nobble. It should make them feel that they have earned money for their hard work. Real money can be replaced with Play money for this reward.
- Their favourite items can be gifted to them for capably implementing the set task.
- Take them to their most loved picnic spot or even plan a day out for a movie.
6. Invent ways to involve and introduce challenges
Kids love challenges and chores or activities that are challenging. Doing the same mundane tasks can be sometimes boring and there are chances that their level of zeal could drop. So, try and formulate excelling proposals to do repetitive chores.
There can be a bit of added fun to kids’ activities. Say for example, if you have two kids, and would want to involve both of them in the regular jobs at home, you can ask them to challenge themselves in doing the tasks faster. Not only will this be a relaxation but also promote the spirit of healthy competition.
7. Make chores a fun activity
As a parent, we can always try and bring in the fun element in children’s activities. Be it laundry sorting like separating the light and dark clothes, or setting up spoons, bowls, and plates properly to be laid on the table, gardening, or loading the washing machine children would highly enjoy doing them when they really feel comfortable.
Well, to put them at ease, you can possibly play some music that would excite them and keep them going with the assigned activities. They won’t be bored or feel that the tasks are too tiring to carry out.
8. Switch roles
Try and give your child tasks which you often do when you have to involve children in housework. Some simple tasks like deciding the menu or planning today’s meal, folding clothes, grouping groceries after shopping, etc., This teaches them how to be responsible and helps them understand how a house works when it comes to planning and organising simple things like preparing a meal, setting up a table, organising a wardrobe, etc.,
Swap your tasks with your children. For instance, you clean their cupboard while they do the laundry for you, or you organise their bookshelves and they do the dishes in the kitchen. You’ll see that this scenario would intrigue them to learn things that they wouldn’t have tried earlier!
When we have to involve children in housework it’s always a challenging task for parents. However, it is our duty and responsibility to make them comprehend situations, gradually. Involving children in decision making at home can be a start. For a sample, let them choose between to lay a table or do laundry. This makes them feel important. Allow your children to pick the activity from the list. This improves decision making in kids.
Few easy tasks where we can involve children in housework are :
- Help in preparing the meal and setting menu
- Laying the table for meals
- Cleaning the table after meals
- Tidy-up the rooms
- Organising the shoe rack
- Arranging the wardrobe
- Setting up the bookshelf – sorting books alphabetically as in the library
- Making a list for grocery shopping
- Let them choose the vegetables and fruits to be picked for the week
- Allow them to organise and sort their toys separately in boxes or tubs
- Sorting socks, small clothing, t-shirts, handkerchiefs, etc.
- Watering the garden and indoor plants
- Feeding the pets
- Clean bathroom sink
- Making beds, changing pillowcases
- Dusting and cleaning
- Polishing shoes
- Doing dishes
When we talk about turning children into responsible helpers, it is equally crucial for us to understand that we could only make it happen if we explore ways and put in extra efforts and work on it. Children grow at their pace and it’s not a one-day affair. It’s a process where we can ensure they learn in every step and grow up as responsible humans.
When we involve children in housework, children learn a lot of skills like:
- Team Work
- Relationship skills
- Healthy Competition
- Family values
Children feel competent as they execute everyday jobs when we involve children in housework. Every step is a path to learning something new and so are the small tasks done at home that are beneficial in the long run in the lives of children. Running a household is the basic learning we can teach our kids. It’s the main life skill that needs to be learned from an early age.
Once kids grow up and leave abode they need to understand how survival is when they are on their own. It’s our duty as parents to teach our kids these life skills so they become liberated and great organisers. Participating in housework enhances their personality development. It also provides children with the need to appreciate the value of relationships, unity, care, and love!