Thursday, October 28, 2010

a question for our readers

For those of you who once were children or who currently parent children: what kinds of chores do you think a 6, 4.5 and 3.5 year old can handle, respectively? We have some basic things down like clear the table and tidy up a room. But, honestly, some things they just do so badly so I just do them myself.
A more experienced mom advised me several years ago that what takes a very long time to teach one year can actually be very quickly learned by the same child just a short year later. I have taken her advice and don't drive myself nuts with too many expectations. But perhaps I have too few?

What do you do that works?


Anonymous said...
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Kris Livovich said...

Um, don't know about Haikus, but am waiting anxiously to hear what tips you are given. I have none. We are in the same boat.

Mary said...

I'm hoping you get more suggestions than mine because I need some ideas as the chores get handed off to the younger sibling! Here is what my 6.5 year old does. Email me if you want more detail. ;)
1. Almost daily unloads non-breakables from dishwasher (I put away for now).
2. Weekly gathers bathroom, office, misc. small trash bags (I use plastic shopping bags so there are built in handles) and puts in dumpster.
3. Weekly cleans bathroom sink/counter with Magic Eraser.
4. Weekly Swiffer sweeps bathrooms.
5. Occasionally broom sweeps small areas (NOT whole rooms - ugh), especially under her own chair after a meal.
6. Occasionally cleans fingerprints off of low windows, dishwasher, fridge, etc.
7. Occasionally helps dust low furniture.
8. Wipes down doorknobs and light switches with disinfectant when I get germ spooked.
9. Regularly helps fold easier laundry: especially whites and towels.
She makes her bed and picks up her toys daily, puts away most of her laundry and tidies her own things when they get out of hand.
Wow, writing this out makes me feel very demanding! I guess it balances out because we've been reading the Little House books and I always feel like slacker mom when I see how they were working/knitting/sewing at such young ages. I should mention that none of these chores are done perfectly but I praise her for effort and then gradually push her to do better where possible. I also try to remember that her doing it badly is better than me doing it not at all. And more importantly she is learning!

graMoM said...

chores? of course it will take longer to instruct a child to do them than to do them yourself, but if you only do that, you haven't taught the child that work is part of the day and some work is just part of being in a family. hoping that tidying their own toys is a part of their day already, why don't you share what kind of things your kids do?

clairesd said...

Mary: thank you! That is exactly what I was after. I have been trying to have a "chore" portion of the homeschooling day, obviously because it's good to teach kids how to do chores, but because I myself need the discipline to really apply myself to the teaching aspects of it.
Thanks so much!

le petit prince said...

very good initiative. my mom used to hire us for preparing small tarts.we were pleased to roll the dough, and to fill in properly the molds, cut the edges then pick with a fork. and stay away from the oven. she was such a great hostess that she often had plenty of easy-to-fill-in tarts for her tea parties. I guess that it is not the main chore to be useful for you.what about sorting out clothes by colors for laundry, then sort out clean ones by owners to be fold by each? I see L pretty well in this manager activity.we also had to often squeeze orange and lemon as sodas were not tasteful and we loved fresh juices.or write down the list for errands that you can just tell orally, while the non-writers could draw some items.i am not sure that dusting out would be my favorite.ooooooh what about a hair massage with such tiny hands? wishing you plenty of fun.