Raising helpful, kind, considerate and responsible children is something most parents strive to achieve, and my struggle with the decision to require small children to do chores. While your newborn is obviously too young to understand or participate in chores, it’s perfectly appropriate and acceptable to require your young toddlers to do chores. This list is designed to help you choose the best first chores for your children.
Clean Up Toys
Children who are able to get around are old enough to pick up their own toys. A good way to start this chore with your young children is to have a small bin or basket for toys. Show him or her how to replace toys or books into the basket when they’re done playing to set a good example. Remind your children to pick up their toys when they are finished playing and they’ll learn early to be neat.
Put Dirty Clothes Away
While a small toddler isn’t capable of dressing or undressing alone, he or she is capable of taking his or her dirty laundry to the hamper. Model this by helping them do it for a few days, explaining along the way. You will be surprised how quickly your little one picks this up.
Something small children are good at is spilling their cups or snacks. A great first chore is to get them cleaning up this small mess. It’s not a big deal to provide a 1-year-old with a little cloth to help wipe up a spilled cup of water or milk. You’ll obviously have to go behind and mop it up or wipe it with a cleaning product to prevent stickiness, but the concept is there.
This chore won’t work for a child still in a crib, but you’re 3 or 4-year-old should have no problem making his or her own bed. Model the example, show them what to do and ask that they do it each morning. It’s a great first chore for parents who want to wait a few years before creating a chore chart.
This chore probably won’t seem like a chore in the eyes of your children. It’s a fun one for kids who are allowed to go outside and play with mom and dad. Let them pull weeds from the garden. It’ll help you out and provide them with a task that helps to foster responsibility and maturity.
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