Educating for responsibility and raising children to become independent adults in the future is a task that starts at home. But how do you teach them that from an early age without getting tired? Most of the time we fight for them to pick up their belongings, to tidy their room, to wash the dishes or to make their beds. And yet, there are different ways to involve them in household chores by motivating them and helping them to integrate naturally into the home.
BuzzAfter has created a list of practical tips that will certainly make it easier for parents to get their children involved in domestic chores.
1. Give them age-appropriate instructions
The psychomotor ability of a small three-year-old is not the same as that of a 13-year-old. Each age therefore has a corresponding level of responsibility and learning, and this must be respected because assigning activities to which they are unprepared could lead to frustration. Children aged two to three can put dirty laundry in the basket and pick up their toys. From four to five years, they can water the plants, put clean clothes in the drawers and place their shoes. Children six to eight years old can put the laundry in the washing machine, wash their plates and prepare the snack for the next day.
2. Explain the situation, talk about the feelings and needs
The American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg created a model called nonviolent communication, a concept he described as a way of addressing the needs of each person without attacking or offending others. Thanks to this communication, parents can expose the situation (“Honey, in your room there are too many toys on the floor”) and talk about their own feelings and desires (“I would like you to pick them up so that no one falls The needs of the people involved are identified and the feelings evoked help to create a kind of empathy with others.
3. Allow them to choose tasks
There are household chores that we even happily perform, while others cause us a lot of problems. Whenever possible, ask children what they prefer to do. Some prefer to water the plants, others, tidy the races. Everyone can do a different task and finish it.
4. Tell them that they have become specialists to carry out certain works
Each person has different talents: doing manual activities, do-it-yourself, repairs, or organizing things. Parents know what makes their child unique. Based on this, we can talk with them and assign them a “specialty”. Those with good fine motor skills can pack gifts or decorate for a party, and those who love the order can arrange a drawer a month. They will feel special and valued for what they are.
5. Put in place the technique of the word “when”
It is important to teach children that they must finish their homework to play or watch TV. To do this, it is advisable to use sentences beginning with “when”: when you finish doing your homework, you can play with your ball. “They will find a motivation that will make them work a little faster and you, you will be strengthening responsibility and commitment at home.
6. Use a positive reinforcement system
The positive reinforcement could be based on a point system. For example, children have to do 10 chores a week: wash their plates every day, pick up their toys, fold their laundry, and so many more. Each activity is worth a certain number of points, so at the end of the month, the sum is made. It is recommended to put a value of points at the prices they want to get, for example: a doll is worth 30 points, a coloring book is worth 15, and so on. They will feel motivated to finish their activities.
7. Write words on objects to make them “talk”
Children have a lot of imagination , and interacting with them and arousing their curiosity is a great way to communicate the tasks to them. You can leave them words on the objects so that they have the impression that they speak to them, for example: “Hello Quentin, I would like my sheets to be very smooth in the morning, could you help me to stretch them? Regards, your bed “.
8. Make a monthly schedule
The learning takes place more easily when you employ visual techniques to enhance learning. A planning can help children to organize their cognitive process and to know where they are in terms of their responsibilities and tasks to accomplish them within a certain time frame.
9. Respect their moments without forgetting the discipline
Like adults, children also have moments of anger or sadness, and they express their feelings in different ways. Without ignoring the discipline and the execution of the tasks, as parents, we must respect their little moments because they are opportunities to listen to them and empathize with them.
10. Congratulate them
The children are doing a lot of work to finish their obligations. And they feel very proud and satisfied when their parents congratulate them for the job well done. No need to be too strict and to punish them, it does not bring anything positive , on the contrary, your child will feel obliged to lie and say that he did what you asked him, just to make you happy .
11. Allow them to be wrong and to be free
It is quite possible that in the beginning they have trouble doing an activity properly. However, it is important to leave them free and allow them to be wrong. This will teach them to be patient, innovative and resilient. Also, they will learn to cope with frustration and overcome their mistakes.
12. Transform those moments into sharing opportunities
There are needs that are covered every day, such as eating. The preparation of the meal can therefore become a privileged moment to share. Everyone can play a role, and that will encourage teamwork. It is also an opportunity to bond, to encourage attachment, to talk with others and to spend precious time with family.
13. Avoid doing the work for him
As soon as you assign him a task, avoid helping your child to complete it. It must be allowed to develop his autonomy and to be responsible for his duties. In addition, he will know that his parents trust him and that they know he will do the job correctly.
14. Establish a deadline
Jamie Howard, Director of the Child Mind Institute , recommends setting deadlines for children to complete their homework. She suggests to respect the times of concentration. For example, four to five year olds can complete activities in a period of five to 20 minutes, as the case may be. During this time, they must focus on one single responsibility.
15. Words can be convincing, but the example is much more effective
Children learn with examples. So if they see that both parents are involved in household chores, they too will. Ideally, they should not see this as a burden, but rather as a means of maintaining order, of being disciplined and knowing that to get anything, you have to work hard.
What other techniques do you use to involve your children in the activities of the home? Please share your ideas in the comments section!