Parenting tip – Teach your children to do their chores with a good attitude
- February 11, 2020
- Posted by: LIFE International School
- Category: Parenting tips
How can you be purposeful in your parenting? Teach your children to do their chores with a good attitude.
Child education experts are divided into two groups: philosophers, who believe that children will naturally choose to help at home, and the pragmatists who promote rewards and bribes. Parents want children to help at home out of love, working willingly, without complaining.
We have to recognize that some children come into the world with a natural tendency to organize, clean, or cook; but other children believe they were born to be served, and sadly this trend lasts their whole life. How we train our children affects them for a lifetime, and later in life their spouse is the one who lives with the consequences. I see teenagers who treat their mothers as if she is the cleaning woman, and this custom does not start overnight.
The younger the better
It is important to introduce housework early in life. For a child to be responsible we must teach him to be autonomous, so that he will be able to share the tasks of home. Of course, we cannot ask a 1 year old child to make a bed, or a 3 year old to wash the clothes. We must consider the age and ability of the child. For example, starting at 2 years old a child can organize their toys, starting at 4 years old they can set and clear the table, at 5 years they can make their bed, starting at 8 years old they can clean their room. On the internet you can find task tables that tell what children can do according to their age, but you still must assess the particular capacity of each child.
Start by giving your child a few responsibilities that she can do without protesting, something that she can manage easily, then adding chores as she grows. Remember to start with a task she likes. For example: my oldest son liked to help me in the kitchen, I made sure he had very clean hands because he liked to use his hands to stir or mix. Today he is an adult who enjoys cooking for his own family.
Here are some guidelines.
1. Start assigning small manageable tasks just as soon as the child is capable of helping.
2. Explain your expectations clearly using these three steps. First demonstrate how the task is done, then do the chore together, then assign the child to work alone.
3. Clearly state how often the task should be done, if it is daily or certain days of the week. Do not expect perfection the first time, but be mindful of the age of the child.
4. If you have children of both sexes distribute the tasks equally. Household chores do not have gender, so do not divide the tasks according to the gender of your child.
5. Distribute the tasks according to the age and ability of the child. Recognize his or her progress and reinforce it positively with words of affirmation!
6. Some recommend keeping a chart to encourage and reward the fulfillment of the task. Give a star every time the chore is done.
7. Some parents give a monthly allowance or reward if the task is well done, though some behavioral professionals disagree since household chores have to be done and money does not come from heaven for doing them. Nonetheless, if money is given, teach your children to administer it. My children sometimes joined their coins to buy a game they both wanted. In addition to learning to save and manage their money, they were learning about how a cooperative works.
These are just ideas, but more than teaching children to do a task, your example is very important. When you do your own chores, do them with a good attitude, and better yet do them with joy. If the parents demonstrate a bad attitude toward chores, most likely their children will end up doing the same, because who would want to do those tasks that dad and mom hate doing? The ultimate goal is that children be able to realize what needs to be done and get to work without anybody having to remind them. Because doing housework is part of life, and doing it well and with joy can ultimately project something about who we are on the inside.
In summary, How can you be purposeful in training your children? Teach your kids to do their chores with a good attitude.
By Sonia Maldonado PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org)