Thursday, March 3, 2011

Toddler Chores

Even though Ella is only two years old, we’ve already been trying to teach her how to do some chores and how to help out around the house. I want her to learn that it is important to help out within the family, and to learn to do without complaining. I want her to learn to take the initiative when it comes to being involved in taking care of responsibilities around the home. I firmly believe that starting at a young age can help instill the quality of hard work.

We’ve been teaching and encouraging Ella to help out around the house for many months now. I think the first thing we taught her was to take trash to the trash can. At first this involved lots of coaching to keep her on task when she was taking something to the trash can, but now, she’s really good about taking things we ask her to take. She loves to take Troy’s diapers to the trash can – I think she really feels like a big helper when she helps with anything involving Troy.

A large part of this process is training myself to teach her and to have patience with her. Many times it isn’t helpful or useful to me at the moment to get her to do a chore or to help out. Many (or even, most) times it would be easier and faster for me to complete whatever task I’m trying to get her to do, but it is important that she learns to do them, even if it takes longer for something to be completed.

For example, I’ve  been teaching Ella to help me pick up her toys. I’ll admit that at first this tested my patience. She would get distracted and play with the toys that were still out or pull toys out that were already put away, but now she does great helping me put the toys up. In fact, it is actually helpful to me if she helps put the toys up!


My husband came across a link on Focus on the Family the other day describing age-appropriate chores. I found it to be a very  informative article. Although I don’t agree with everything on the Focus on the Family website (especially concerning teaching on faith that is not in accordance with God’s Word in all areas), it can be a very useful resource in parenting!