Your Pregnancy

Your Preschooler Month 41

We all know that a 3 year old child can really make a mess. Sometimes it can seem that your day is filled with picking up toys, doing laundry, and washing dishes. If you wish you had some help, this could be the right time to introduce chores to your child. When a child helps around they house, they feel good about it. It makes them feel that they are contributing and gives them a sense of pride.

Your Child’s Development

Many parents wonder what age is appropriate to start giving their child chores around the house. There is no magic age to start giving your child chores, but the earlier the better. Chores teach your child responsibility and how to set priorities. Even a child that is as young as 2 years old can have a specific chore. And remember, your 3 year old wants to be just like you. Helping out with the chores will make her feel proud and help to develop her self esteem. 
 
When giving your child does chores, keep her age in mind. Ask yourself if she is physically and mentally mature enough to accomplish the task. A 3 year old child can put away her own toys, put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, help fold towels and teatowels, and match up the socks when folding laundry. She can also put the napkins on the table at mealtime, fill the pet dish with food, and help with watering the lawn and plants. It’s also a good idea to enlist your child’s help in your daily chores. When you are dusting, for instance, put a sock over your child’s hand and let her help. She can also help carry in light weight groceries and help put them away. She will really enjoy helping you wash the car or plant flowers in the garden. And, helping out in the kitchen is not only a way to teach your child responsibility, it can be a bonding experience. 
 
The use of a chore chart for weekly chores can be a good way to keep your child motivated. Print out a chart or use a calendar page that lists the chores your child is responsible for. Hang the chart on the fridge or in a spot where your child will see it every day. Help your child understand the chart and explain how it works. Of course, you will have to remind them that today is Monday and that means it’s time to help with the laundry. Whenever your child accomplishes a particular chore reward her accomplishment with a sticker placed in the box and let her check the chore off the list.
 
In addition to teaching responsibility and developing self esteem, you and your child will benefit from early chore assignments. A child who learns early that certain things that are expected of them, will accept chores as a normal part of their day. With luck, this acceptance will likely carry over to their teenage years.

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