Whether you have one child or six, keeping them occupied during this quarantine is an almost impossible challenge. And the younger your children are, the more you find that they are “under foot.” If they are following you around, they might as well learn some life skills! School work and games aren’t the only ways to keep your children occupied during this time of self-isolation. Teaching them to do simple chores will help them to learn responsibility and boost their confidence.
It all starts with you, mom and dad. By modeling responsible behavior you are already teaching your children how to be responsible citizens, themselves. Way to go! You are already nailing step one of this whole “teaching them chores” thing. You deserve a beer. Now, let them help…with the chores…not the beer. They are following you around away. Why not hand them the trash bag and have them help you empty all of the trash cans? Or designate them the official sock finder of the clean laundry pile. That will occupy them for a while. Dusting is also a “low hanging” fruit in the chore world. Give them a Swiffer and let them get to work!
They want to help you – trust me! In a few years, when they have started growing into their sassy pants, they will no longer have the overwhelming desire to be near you. NOW is the time to take advantage of the fact that you are their idol. HAND THEM A SWIFFER! Simply say things like “hey kiddo can you help me put all these dishes in the sink?” They will love it.
PUT DOWN THE CHORE CHART. It’s not necessary if you are doing this right. By providing them with a structure and routine, they will begin to do their chores daily. According to care.com, setting some expectations will reinforce this new behavior. For example, the website says, “your son must brush his teeth, eat breakfast and get dressed before watching TV.” Seems like a reasonable expectation to me!
Once your young grasshopper has begun to take to this chore thing enthusiastically, really ride that momentum and set them free! Give your children independent chores that are age-appropriate. Care.com suggests placing a hamper in your child’s room and show her where her day-old jeans belong. Another independent chore might be to make sure the sink is clean of toothpaste after he brushes his teeth. These “chores” should morph into expectations eventually, so put away your wallet.
Don’t pay your children for doing their chores for now. Praise them instead. For a young child, their favorite currency is positive affirmation. “Way to go. That was such an awesome job!” will go way further than a dollar bill for a preschooler. There is a time and place for monetary rewards. This is not the “season” for those incentives. Enjoy the free labor and make it rain high-fives. You have a chore side-kick that will hopefully find cleaning your windows enjoyable. (someone should get something out of it!)
AGE APPROPRIATE CHORES/ TASKS FOR PRESCHOOLERS
Set the table
Wipe out sink after brushing teeth
Turn off all the lights in the house when the family is leaving the house
Feed a pet
Tidy up his/ her room
Dust a room
Open and hold doors for others
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY
One of our Redeemer dad’s is making art out of this moment. NBC12 featured him on their nightly newscast earlier this week. Check out the video here.