Does having your toddler help with the household chores sound like a dream come true, or an unbelievable attempt?
With a host of learning possibilities, young children who are involved with housework become better individuals and team players.
The initial effort of teaching and guiding your child with the household chore may seem like a tall order. However, once your toddler is familiar with how things are done and discover the exciting side of it (yes!), it will be much easier to get them completed with an extra pair of hands!
Household chores present opportunities for children to learn life skills. Add a dash of creativity to make those chores a fun, engaging activity which they would enjoy too! Experts share that having children involved at an early age can have a positive impact when they are older.
Let’s get them started!
1) Learn to be responsible
Simple tasks such as getting your toddler to keep his toys after play, establishes the order of how things are in your home. While it is easy for adults to clean up for them, doing so shows them that someone else will clean up after them.
For a start, show him the boxes or drawers where the toys belong, and keep them together.
Make it fun by singing and jiggling along so it seems like a game too! Before long, he will be able to clean up after play, by taking ownership of his belongings.
2) Develop team player skills
Completing a task together halves the effort and takes lesser time. Let your toddler observe how quick and fun it is to do those household chores together. As he realises that his cooperative role in with the chore has a positive impact, he would appreciate his role and look forward to making a difference.
Cleaning his toys, or helping to wipe the table after meals are simple ways your toddlers can help. At the same time, he learns to collaborate and work together towards a common goal – a spick and span home. Well, almost!
3) Develop leadership skills
Just as team player skills are important social skills in life, leadership skills allow toddlers to take on decision making, and learn how to influence others to work towards shared objectives together. He also become more aware of others’ needs and perspectives, progressively become more independent, which all adds to character building.
This also means your toddler gets a chance to hone his problem-solving skills during those opportunities. Can’t find the original box to keep those jigsaw puzzles? Look for an empty lunchbox to keep them! This allows your toddler to stretch his communication and observation skills to initiate the search for an alternative container, and possibly end up with a game of treasure hunt to look for one!
4) Feel a sense of belonging
Each family member plays a role in the house. As your child becomes more involved in keeping a systematic routine for a clean home, it gives him the opportunity to give back to parents for what they have done for them. As he begins to see the importance of his role and contribution, it allows the child to have a stronger connection to the family.
Nurture your little Jamie Oliver by getting him involved in meal preparations. Assign simple tasks such as sorting vegetables and mushrooms, cracking and beating eggs. When both of you are more confident, your toddler can help by cutting food. Besides picking up survival skills, he learns to appreciate the effort behind a meal, and his fruit of labour will taste extra yummy too!
5) Understand about hygiene and cleanliness
The basics of hygiene is a habit cultivated from an early age. Toddlers are exposed to understanding those cleanliness standards as part of the family’s house rules, and develop their acceptance level of hygiene too.
Start the day by letting your toddler learn to make his bed. After meals, he can help with washing the dishes too! These simple household chores will help set your future teenager in putting his hands to maintain good hygiene in the home too.
6) Sharpen organisational skills
Don’t wait till you are expecting guests at your home to start involving your toddler in household chores! Offer your child the chance to sharpen his organisational skills, by learning to take instructions from you on how to put things back in their original place. Soon enough, he will know to do that without you telling him to!
Sorting the laundry offers a chance for your toddler to categorise by colour or material type. Helping to put those markers and crayons back in their holders after use, are simple ways of being organised.
7) Boosts self-confidence
Remember to offer praises and encouragement to your toddler who is taking steps to help with the household chores. Research shows that a high five or appreciative words boosts self-confidence instantly, as children feel a sense of pride by helping to keep the house clean.
Besides developing a higher self-esteem, your toddler is better able to manage his emotions such as cope with frustration, or expect gratification for a task done.
8) Learn to be appreciative, kind and helpful
Kindness begins at home, and parents set the best examples.
Experts share that young children involved in household chores understand the effort of keeping the home clean and develop a sense of gratitude and are thankful for what their parents do for them. By helping with the household chores, your toddler discovers how it feels to be appreciated, and in turn, learn from you how to be appreciative of others. It goes beyond getting the tasks done, and at the same time subtlety inculcating positive values in him.
As parents, we hope to set our kids in a nurturing environment for them to adapt and grow. Helping out with household chores offers the setting to develop their character and teach them positive values and attitude. In simple ways, they are gradually filling up their character banks to make them more wholesome. All in our bid to raise world-ready children to take on the future world!
Do you involve your children in household chores? Share with us how your little ones are helping out!