Up until now, your child has likely been emulating your every action; she has followed you around and been busy helping you out with all your chores and tasks. Now that she's 5 years old, it's time to give your big helper her own tasks. Pitching in around the house will help your child develop a sense of responsibility and pride in her developing abilities, and let her feel like a contributing member of the family.
Figure out the amount of time you want your child to spend doing chores each day. While you don't want your child spending hours a day on chores, a few select chores helps to teach him about contributing and responsibility. These little jobs can also help to instill a feeling of self-confidence and pride for a job well done.
Write a list of chores that are appropriate for your child's age. Five-year-old children are generally capable of more than they are given credit. Chores that will help your child contribute and are appropriate for this development level include making her own bed, putting away clean laundry, emptying small garbage cans in bedrooms or home offices, straightening shoes on shoe racks, dusting furniture and wiping window sills or ledges. Choose two or three to make up your child's chore list.
Hold a practice day and do the chores with your child so he knows what's expected of him. Praise him for a job well done to help bolster his confidence level. He will be much more inclined to work hard when you recognize his efforts and he feels capable of completing the tasks.
Provide an easy daily reminder with a chore chart. Draw and decorate the chart together and then hang it on the refrigerator. Pick up magnets with pictures and use these in place of check marks on the chart so you can reuse the same chart each week.
Items you will need
- Chore chart
- If you decide to offer rewards for chore completion, consider ideas such as extra story time together, a mom-and-me afternoon and other rewards that focus more on the relationship than physical items like toys and treats.
- You Are Your Child's First Teacher, 3rd ed.: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age Six; Rahima Baldwin Dancy
- Beyond the Chore Chart: Chores, Kids, and the Secret to a Happy Mom; Kimberly Eddy
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