When I was filling out Elle's application for pre-school it asked, "What chores and responsibilities does your child have at home?" She was three at the time, and I remember thinking to myself, "Are kids even supposed to have chores at three years old?"
Turns out that I was a little late to the party when it came to instilingl small amounts of independence in her. With Elle being my first and only child for three years, I often would put her clothes on, buckle her seat, put the dishes in the sink for her simply because it was faster and I didn't mind. What I didn't realize is that those small things were things she could do with me, and that allowing her to do them (though it took longer) was a great way to help her prepare for school.
With my second child, Levi, I had an opportunity to learn from that mistake and start introducing a bit more independence early on. As part of the Real Mom Series, I thought I would share the responsibilities and chores Levi and Elle have to give other moms age appropriate ideas of how to incorporate them into their lives.
LEVI - 2 yrs old
- Puts plate in the sink
- Puts dirty laundry in the laundry room
- Helps put toys away
ELLE - 5 yrs old
- Picks out her clothes for school
- Puts on her own clothes and shoes
- Puts dirty clothes in the laundry basket
- Sets her place setting
- Puts dirty dishes in sink
- Brushes her teeth
- Picks up her toys and room
- Stays in bed until 6:30am
We don't have any kind of reward system for doing these things. Of course, verbal appreciation and celebrating how they show independence is involved, but we didn't want to implement a reward system for age appropriate expectations. However, when they go above and beyond what they are expected to do we definitely reward that.
I'd love to hear other ways you incorporate responsibilities and chores. Please share in the comments, and be sure to check out how these other moms handle responsibilities with their kids: The Effortless Chic, Hey Mama Co., The Life Styled, Design Addict, Design for Mankind,