I think it’s really important to get children to do simple chores around the house and it’s something I’ll always encourage Erin to do. I don’t actually remember my mum making us do any cleaning or helping out around the house in any way. As a teenager my own bedroom was my responsibility and if I didn’t clean it, well, it wouldn’t be cleaned! I think not helping out at home made me lazy and I really never appreciate everything that needed to be done.
From a very young age I have always encouraged Erin to pick up her toys and put them away when she’s finished playing with them. Now, that certainly doesn’t mean she does it all of the time. In fact, she probably doesn’t even do it 50% of the time but she is only 2 so it’s something we’ll keep working on.
If Erin shows an interest in something then I try to let her see what is being done or even better, join in and this is how I’ve gotten her to help with chores around the house at such a young age.
Something John does most mornings is do the dishes from the evening before if we haven’t done them already. We have a Little Helper FunPod and this allows Erin to stand up at the sink with John and help him wash up! It’s Erin’s job to put the cutlery in the drainer and also stack some of the plates if they’re plastic and not breakable!
Erin also loves to help sweep the floor. Unfortunately, she always wants the biggest brush and just ends up moving any dirt around rather than cleaning it up. I don’t care though because she has so much fun while she’s doing it. I have tried to get Erin to use the small dustpan and brush but the dirt ends up being flung across the room so we’ve given up on that one for now.
One of Erin’s favourite jobs is to help load and unload the washing machine. She gets quite upset if she sees anyone trying to do it without her so sometimes you have to be quite stealthy and sneak it all in! Erin doesn’t really understand the difference between clean clothes and dirty clothes, even though they’re wet when clean so gets confused about whether they should go in the machine or hung out to dry.
Erin’s absolute favourite part of being asked to help with chores is being able to feed our rabbits Flopsy and Mospy. She loves to go outside even if it is chucking it down with rain and she loves to see the rabbits munching away happily on their food. Erin likes it even more if we get them something special like green beans as she can feed them through the bars as they take the food from her.
I certainly don’t force Erin to do any cleaning around the house. She is only 2 after all. However, I do make sure I ask her if she wants to help when I am doing some cleaning and I do ask her to clean the table with a wipe after she’s eaten. Luckily, Erin is really quite tidy most of the time. She always puts her own plate or bowl and cutlery in the sink to be washed and she always puts empty drink cartons of food packets in the bin after she is done with them.
I’m really very proud of her, even if she does throw every single toy we have downstairs around the living room just for fun!
Do you encourage your toddler or child to help with chores around the house?