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  1. #1

    Teaching A Child Cleanliness And Responsibilities

    I am trying to teach my 6 year old to pick up after herself. Is it too early to start assigning chores to her? If not, how do I go about it?

  2. #2
    I think six is a good age to begin with a few easy chores. Start by making her a chart with simple words or images to remind her to complete her daily tasks. Some good age-appropriate options would be making her bed, cleaning up her toys, feeding a family pet, maybe washing some dishes or setting the table as well. Just be sure and keep it fun and positive, you do not want to turn it into a negative experience.

  3. #3
    Mom2Many has some great suggestions! I started most of my children on chores when they were 2. They start by folding wash clothes and setting the table with plastic dishes, cups and napkins. As they get older, and stronger, they can then empty the trash cans (in each bedroom) and can take their dishes off the table after a meal.

    Your daughter is old enough to actually do some cooking with you. In an effort to keep her interested in her new chores, you could work with her. In fact working with her the first week, to train her is really important. After a week of investing your time in training, she'll be able to do things well on her own, which will free your time up.

    She can use a table knife to slice olives. She can measure and mix. My 7 year old can read a recipe and make a batch of cookies by herself. Your 6 year old may not be able to read a recipe yet, but she can do everything else when it comes to baking cookies. Help her make cookies. Teach her that this is what 1/2 cup looks like and have her dip it into the sugar and pour it in the bowl. Have her unwrap the butter and put it in the bowl (she can cut it with a table knife if needed). She can do each step, with your guidance.

    The only thing you may need to help her with would be the final mixing, if you're mixing by hand, and putting the trays into the oven (and taking them out). Once she realizes the skills that she has, and sees the positive results of those skills (I made a batch of cookies - yum!) she will be much more willing to do more.

    Sometimes, we as mums, actually hold our children back from doing all they can do because we don't invest as much time in them that we could (I know I've done this).

    Be consistent with the "not so fun" chores, and put consequences in place if she doesn't do them (you can't watch TV until it's done, and done right). It's really important to be ready to "help" her to complete her tasks once they are assigned, because if you assign them and then give up because the struggle is too hard, you will be teaching her that if she throws a fit, or says "no", that she won't have to do things in life... and life just isn't like that (if you tell your boss "no" or just choose not to do an assignment, you lose your job).

    Everyone is a player on the "family" team. If your daughter is assigned to empty the trash, and she doesn't do it, the entire house will start to stink. If mum decides not to go to the grocery store or make meals anymore, the family will get very hungry. When everyone works together, the entire family benefits.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

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