That is me as a toddler in the picture. The woman sitting behind me and smiling at me is my proud Mãe. My brother and I were blessed with such a warm-hearted and kind Mother. She was my heart ?
My mother made it a point to teach my brother and me the importance of keeping a clean and organized space. The chores we were given always fit our ages, and of course our attention spans.
I remember my mother teaching me to put my toys away as a toddler, and showing me how my clothes needed to be placed in the hamper before I got into the bath. At the time I thought it was fun and I loved my mother’s encouraging praises, but little did I know that these simple life lessons would have great benefits.
Mom was always consistent and very patient when teaching my brother and me to do house chores.
Between the ages of 0 and 5, a child’s mind is a HUGE sponge. Children want to be LOVED, led and taught, and this is the perfect time to give your child small tasks that will have very beneficial results.
Raising a child is a blessing and a responsibility. As parents, we have the opportunity to instill values and raise great humans in society.
The benefits of early good practices
When I started school/college these small chores had a big impact on my learning. I was able to keep my lessons organized and my notes organized. In addition, my books were never scattered and I never got overly stressed with assignments. I know this was all possible because my mother was consistent in teaching me the values of staying clean and organized.
Every child is different and not every child is going to absorb all you teach, but I promise you, some of it will sink in. The key is patience and being consistent with your children. Don’t overload your child and be sure to thank them, as well as praise them for the things they do. Mom taught us (my brother and me) to have balance in life, and our chores, our playtime, our family time, and our faith time was always in balance. She was heavy on the LOVE side, but LOVE should always be given in large portions:)
I am so grateful to my mother for the consistent love and life lesson that I now impart to my child.
I’m not ADD from the life lesson and I am not a germophobe. My family and I don’t mind getting messy and we are always having fun:), but I am personally organized and so is my family, my household and my business.
My family stays consistent with each of our roles and duties and we work as a well oiled machine (ECOfriendly oil).
Toddlers and age appropriate responsibilities
Here are listed some great starting points for toddlers and teens:
Toddlers (12-36 moths):
- Teach them to put away their toys. Having a place for your toddler’s toys is good for you and them. A shelf for books, puzzles, and misc toys is ideal for showing your toddler that everything has a place. Be patient and work with them. In addition, show them how to place the book on the shelf in its place and praise the child with hugs and kisses when they finish.
- Be a role model. Toddlers mimic everything we do. Say phrases such as “help Mommy and Daddy put your books away”, make it a family event the first few times. They want to help. Remember not to overwhelm your child and stress them or yourself out. Work on one small task at a time and make it short and sweet. The key is patience and praise.
Ages 4-5 Years
The chores for this age range include:
- All the above chores
- Helping to sweep hard surface floors with a small broom
- Help to clear table
- Help to fold clothes and even put their clothes in the proper drawers
- All the previous chores
- Help empty items from a dishwasher and put in the proper place (where they can reach). If you hand wash your dishes, let them help washing items they can be trusted not to hurt themselves with
- Wiping down bathroom sinks
- Feeding pets
- All previous tasks
- Wipe down bathroom mirrors, toilets, and tubs
- Empty trash and take to curb
- Weed garden and change the litter box
- Let the dog(s) go outside (if fenced back yard)
- Help unload groceries
- Basic laundry
- Make lunches
- Make breakfast
- Help watching younger siblings
- Mow grass in the yard
- Pick up dog waste
- Wash car
- Walk the pets
Ages 13 plus
- All the previous duties
- Help ironing
- If you have a scheduled cleaning day delegate some of the rooms to the child
- Your child should have a schedule of chores
- Create a schedule with different chores and give your children something new to do
Keep in Mind!
- Each task is more than just a chore it is an opportunity to learn a needed life lesson.
- Remember not to overwhelm your children when introducing them to new chores.
- Praise them.
- Reward them. If you cannot give an allowance, reward them in other ways, such as an extra hour of play time, extra time on the computer or playing games, or pizza night (my favorite one). Whatever you choose remember you are doing a great service for your child by teaching the basics.
- Be role models. When delegating work it is good to practice what we preach.
- Be organized. I think it is extremely important to have the tools and supplies in place and organized for your kids when teaching. Having a cleaning caddy in place with all the proper supplies is very helpful. Home Depot has a really great selection of “cleaning caddies” or cleaning caddy, ranging from industrial cleaning carts to under the sink cleaning caddy.
- Have products and supplies available. Zesty Maids is a Green Cleaning Service, so we recommend you to stock green cleaning products and supplies. Furthermore, we would like to suggest some of our favorite brand products such as the Seventh Generation and Green Works for cleaning products.
NOTE: Zesty Maids is not a reseller of any of the mentioned products or brands, we just like the products and we want to introduce you to some green brands we are familiar with!