Little Helpers

I dont know what other parents do when it comes to household chores; I have never poled my friends.  But I thought I would throw this out there.

Kids love to be little helpers.  The younger you start them out the better.

Cleaning day is Saturday morning.  No weekend fun begins until the house is sparkling (everything dusted, floors swepted and mopped or vacuumed, bathrooms and kitchens scrubbed, etc.)  No one is too young too help - well except the baby but she is only 6 months.  My boys scrub my floors together (2 yrs and 8 yrs) otherwise they will fight over who gets to wash the floor.  Then the oldest dusts the furnature while the little one dusts the baseboards.  I take care the the kitchen, laundry, and two of the bathrooms.  The little one cleans his playroom while the oldest scrubs his bathroom.  When we are done, they "inspect" my work while I "inspect" their work.  We fix anything that is missed together.  Then we go out and play.

No one dreads this weekly ritual; they even seem to enjoy it.  Even during the week the kids have jobs to help me with the household.  They get stickers if they do a superb job or remember to do their work without being reminded. 

When we experience misbehavior, like fighting with a little brother, a great outlet for extra energy is extra cleaning.  Its a win, win for me.  While it discourages the behavior for my oldest and teaches him responsibility.  Although this doesnt happen often.  I try to think of this as constructive discipline.

NoGodsNoMasters NoGodsNoMasters
31-35, F
17 Responses Jun 15, 2009

I taught my kids at a very young age to set the table, put their clothes in the hamper, put their clothes in the wash, take it out of the dryer, put it in their hampers, fold their clothes, and put them away. I also showed them how to use the microwave. I also had them make their beds and to put there toys away. They are now 12 and 13 1/2. I feel a child is never too young to learn to help .

And that's how it should be, no matter what the situation is at home. Kid's need to learn from an early age that they are part of something bigger, and that they can make contributions to help everyone else out.

I would say something to the parents. <br />
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When I worked, I had a cleaning lady. But it was not her responsibility to run after my kids and clean up after them - and I made that clear to her. Children need to learn to clean up after themselves. She was surprised but applauded me for not spoiling my kids.

That's great. How old are your kids?

I know I work at a health food retail. Prices there are higher then other grocery stores and these mothers just let thier kids throw things on the floor. Hello we do have trash cans. These are rich people and their slobs.

Lol, as babies usually are. :-) And you're right TS, it is the parents responsibility to teach accountability, respect, and discipline, it's just overwhelming how many people don't do it.

Now my boys LOVE to be in the dirt but they freak out if anything sticky gets on their hands. Now the baby doesnt care about sticky - actually she's always sticky.<br />

My oldest daughter is 4 and she's an absolute clean freak. She freaks out if her hands are dirty from cleaning. Cleaning is an evryday thing for us around here. It's a big house an there's no way I can get it done before I have to go to work so something is done everyday around here.

Yes, but so many parents today don't. That's the problem. No one's doing it. Then when the kid is 16; the parent can't figure out why the kid won't do as he's told. Im sorry but if you can't control your toddler - you will NEVER be able to control your teenager.

I think it is really important to teach boys that even when they grow into men; they are also responsible for maintaining a clean home. Its not just women's work. They need to help their wife with the household responsibilities.

I hear you on that. My 9 year old daughter is responsible for keeping her room and the bathroom clean(although I do the scrubbing of the toilet and bathtub) and she also has to put away the dry dishes. My 2 year old son has to pick up his toys, which for him right now, is enough. And he doesn't get to go outside, or do other fun things unless his toys are put up. It's easy, and from an early age they like to see that they are helping. As I've explained to my daughter(and will to my son as he gets older) you are part of this family/household, so you get a share in keeping it up just like mommy and daddy do.

I agree to that. I am a first time mom with a 1 year old baby girl and i will do the same. I believe that as they grow up they will have initiative, they will be neat, organized, and they will feel very useful.

Yep, everyone has to pitch in.<br />
When our boys used to get in trouble, we would send them outside to pick up all the pine cones in the yard. We have a LOT of pine trees and an endless supply :)<br />
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My friend made her kids wash baseboards. They have been troubled teens. She should have picked pine cones.

Excellent...keep it up..don't let them stay over at friends who do not agree with your prsonal regime.<br />
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It is important to instill shared responsibility and try to maintain it for as long as possible.

My son's 18 months old and he helps sweep the terrace, dust the surfaces, load the washing machine, pack his toys away and hang laundry to dry. He doesn't do any of these things particularly well, but he tries because he wants to.<br />
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I plan to harness this and use it as he gets better at these tasks...<br />
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Additionally, I think its important to note that children WANT to help. It makes them feel special and needed. Everyone likes to feel special and needed. So as soon as they can help; let them.

It sounds like a great tradition. I agree children need to learn early that they have to contribute to the family and they need to learn responsiblility. <br />
My mother started doing chores very young and I did with my daughter as well.

We put on an Alvin and the Chipmunks CD. My kids LOVE the Witch Dr.