It is once again Thursday and time for another Parents University. This weeks topic is one which we all dearly love (NOT!)– chores. Head on over to Kat’s Blog to read some other helpful hints and insights!
I am coming up on a big change here in a few weeks so maybe I should write about this again in a month when I have a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn. Because I’m sure I will have to do things differently. But for now this is the best way I’ve found to get chores done with a 2 1/2 year old.
Involve your toddler in the process.
There is is folks, simple as that. There are several benefits to this approach. First, he learns how to do things. Second, it reinforces his desire to help me so hopefully as he gets older he will continue to want to help me around the house and we can avoid all the “chore-wars” of older childhood. (ask me in 10 years if this hypothesis actually worked!)
There is a down-side to this approach as well. EVERYTHING. TAKES. LONGER. But I think the rewards mentioned above and getting to spend time with your child doing something productive and necessary far outweigh any increase in the time it takes to complete the chores. And there is usually a lot of laughter and learning happening so the time becomes a non-issue. (in my opinion!)
The important thing to remember is to keep the tasks you give your toddler age appropriate. Here are a few examples of how Blue-Eyed Boy helps me with chores:
~making the beds
~putting the clothes in the washer
~putting the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer (I hand them to him and he puts them in)
~pulling the dry clothes out of the washer and putting them in the laundry basket
~setting the table for dinner
~helping me cook (only non hot things) like cookies, muffins, putting the chopped veggies in the big pot for soup, etc.
~putting his own toys away
~holding the dust pan when we sweep
~washing the floor (he loves this-water and bubbles-need I say more?)
I could go on and on, but I hope you get the picture.
There are things that I don’t let him help with for safety reasons. Those would be things like cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming. So, I typically do those things when he is sleeping or The Handsome Hunk is home.
So, there’s my two cents for you all. I may have a different tune to sing in a month or so here. But for now this is how we do it!