Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Delegating to Children

I know that I have posted on this topic before but I cannot express enough how important it is for children to help out in a household. Kids need to have a role in a family and chores is another way of giving them that. I think it gives them a great feeling when they serve others. Maybe Luke is different but he actually likes helping out. He feels part of the team.

At 5 years old he:

1) Makes his bed daily. We probably started having him make his own bed around 3 1/2 to 4 years old. WARNING: When you start having your kids make their bed, it won't look great the first time, or even for months, but eventually they will do it better and better. Don't go behind and fix it or it will squash their feeling of independence and helping out.

2) Removes his sheets and brings them to the laundry room to be laundered once a week. He doesn't put the fitted sheet or pillow case on yet because he can't seem to get it to work, but he does put his comforter back on his bed.

3) Puts all dirty clothes in his hamper daily and brings the hamper to the laundry room to be laundered once or twice a week. He can fold some clothes. He takes the clean clothes and distributes them in his dresser and closet.

4) Cleans the sinks in their bathroom. I give him a Lysol wipe and he scrubs the sinks and counters.

5) Cleans up all toys. He started cleaning up toys around 18 months. I absolutely refuse to clean up toys.

6) Sets the table. He climbs up on his stool and gets the dishes, paper towels, and utensils. He sets the place settings. He also helps take over other things as I need (ie condiments, food that is ready).

7) Clears the table. He brings over the dirty dishes to me so that I can wash them and load the dishwasher.

8) Wipes down the table and chairs. I give him a clean washcloth and he wipes everything down.

9) Sweeps up the crumbs. He has a little dustpan and brush and he goes around getting up the crumbs. This is one of my favorite things that he helps with.

10) Dusts. I give him a Swiffer duster and he goes to town.

I think it is great teaching our kids in phases to help out. A it gives me less to have to do and more time to spend playing with them. B it gives them a sense of responsibility and teaches service and hospitality.

What do you have your kids do?


  1. Let's see - Kendall is going to be 4 on January 1. Right now she:

    1. Sets the table (which is also a counting lesson each night on how many plates, forks, etc. we need). It's also fun to have her pick which condiments need to be on the table depending on the meal.

    2. Helps me cook dinner. She gets out things we need, pours, stirs, etc.

    3. Puts clothes in her hamper each night.

    4. Puts her sister's clothes in her hamper each night.

    5. Brings me diapers, bottles, etc whenever I need them. She is super, super helpful with the baby. I can't think of a time when she has been hesitant to helps o far.

    6. Puts dirty diapers in the diaper pail (she thinks that's fun).

    7. Helps take the recycling outside.

    8. Cleans up her toys. This is one that we actually need to work on and it's more lack of consistency on my part than resistance on her part. Sometimes I give in to it being faster for mommy to pick them up.

  2. That is awesome Jennifer. You have a great girl on your hands. :) Reflects an awesome momma!