I feel like it’s super helpful for kids to help around the house. These are skills they need to learn for life but also, we all live here so we all need to pitch in. “Team work makes the dream work” and all that jazz. G is 4.5 and here are some of the ways we get her to help out.
make your bed
put away laundry
clean up the play room/toys/throw pillows
help with dishes (clearing the table, putting dishes away, we haven’t done loading the dishwasher yet)
Wiping down the table/chairs.
use the stick vacuum
put water bottles in the fridge
Just general cleaning up.
We don’t often pay for these. Rarely, we will give her a quarter or nickel (or whatever change we can find).
We will keep adding to this list as the kids grow and can do more.
Some days it takes a lot of encouragement to help. But we remind her she can do hard things, these are things she has done before, and we thank her lots after. We help once we are done with our job if she’s having a hard time.
We try to remove stumbling blocks. For example, we will put the laundry basket in her room so she doesn’t have to try to carry it up the steps.
If she’s tired, there’s more push back so I have learned to wait till later to ask. Otherwise it feels like I am setting us up for failure.
As a general, we don’t go back and fix what she has done. We talk about how we all need to pitch in and get things done. Eight-ish times out of the these strategies help get the job done.
There will be push back. Especially, if you are asking them to stop something they want. It’s normal. I mean, I don’t like making my bed or doing dishes. So do as much gentle reminding and encouraging as you can and set up some systems to help them succeed. Teach them what you need. Reteach as needed. Work up front will make less work for you later.