It was my mother who suggested me to engage Asya, my daughter, in doing small chores when she was barely three years old. Mummy was of the view that it would ward off laziness. She was right. But apart from that, doing chores has many other usefulness.
Here are some ways in which doing chores can prove to be beneficial for your child:
This is the first virtue a child learns. They respect their elder's commands. Even if they do not like a task, they are supposed to do it. It also increases their endurance level.
Research shows that when a child is instructed to do a work, his brain does a mathematical calculation as how to do, how to start, where to go, what will be the shortest and fastest way to do that work and so on. This helps in enhancing the brain development process.
Things like arranging the toys after playing, putting the dirty clothes in the laundry bag or keeping the books in shelf after reading needs to be done daily. Engaging the child to do a chore on a regular basis sets up a routine for them. Also, set time limit for each chore. So, the child can learn the life skills of planning, organizing and prioritizing along with the value of time.
Every weekend is special for us. Our prime focus is to spend quality time with the kids. Doing chores together is an excellent way to achieve this. I make sure to delegate some smaller tasks to them. As Asya is very fond of eating, I engage her in the process of preparing her favourite dish. She plays the role of a contributor and is happy to help. Engagement makes them think beyond themselves. They feel valued and part of a larger picture - the family.
Doing chores can gradually instill a sense of responsibility. It's my work and I should do it whether asked or not to do and I should face the consequences of not doing it. This attitude and conviction would go a long way in building a child's character.
Sense of Accomplishment
When a child finishes his assigned task, he gets a sense of achievement, a positive pride and moving forward in life becomes more independent.
Here are a few ways you can start involving your kids in doing chores:
1. Start early
It is always better to start early, 2-3 years is the ideal time but it depends on the child and you can be the best judge.
2. Give task they can succeed
It is very important to give task they can do happily and easily. So, the task should be according to age. For a toddler of 2-3 years, it could be picking up toys or pulling sheets off the bed. For a preschooler, it could be setting the table, cleaning the cabinet and so on. Use your best jurisdiction when assigning a task.
3. Be patient
When you assign a task and a time to complete, do not nag in between. Give your child the time to complete it. Otherwise he might get frustrated and lose interest.
4. Least Expectation
Look for participation and not perfection. If they put in their best, do not try to better it. Let them enjoy the work they have done with their own hands.
Appreciate for every little effort they put. Pay incentives in the form of extra TV time or play time or their favourite food.
When I started this exercise with my daughter, I was not sure of the result. But today, when the daycare staffs praise her for being organized and responsible, I feel it was worth it.
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