by Michele Borba
Several years ago I learned a Mommy Secret from my girlfriend about kids' chores that I've never forgot. Cindy and I were busy chatting away when she announced to her kids: "Chore time!" As quick as a wink they jumped up from playing and scurried to their kitchen where they proceeded to unload dishes, and put clean ones in the cupboard. And they did so without an ounce of help or uttering one complaint. When finished they turned for their mom's sanction (she nodded approvingly), and then grinned and ran back to play. (Oh, by the way: her kids were three and five years old. Cross my heart!)
So what was the secret to the mom's success? Believe me, I asked her, and my girlfriend shared these three simple secrets and I used them that afternoon with my own kids.
The result: success! You can use these same secrets with your children to boost their helping attitudes. Here are a few chores appropriate for different ages.
It's never too early to begin, but let's be realistic. Do not expect a toddler to do any "chore" on his own, but you can gently encourage his helping spirit. Here's how:
The important Mommy Secret for this age is if you expect this age of child to do chores first alone, they are likely to give up in frustration. So if you want your preschooler to succeed (or really any age child), first show them exactly how to do the task right. They probably will still need your guidance. Here are a few appropriate chores:
School-age kids are ready to help out in the household as well as some yard work. Go through each new chore step by step with your child so that he clearly knows how to do it. Then observe him doing it at least once to make sure he can handle it.
In a few short years this same kid is probably will be living on his own. So think of assigning chores to help prepare him for independent living.