Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chores for the little boys

This post really got me envious:
"What can a 6 year old do to help at home" @

When I was growing up (up to the present), I and my siblings have been spoiled when it comes to household chores.  My parent have hired a really selfless, loyal, trustworthy, and hardworking help (who's already family) when I was about 4 years old.  Not only is she very efficient when it comes to household work, she's also very good with children (she just might as well be the pied piper of Hamlin!).  We're very grateful for, and to her.

Here's the con.  I've become so dependent on her that I'm almost helpless when it comes to domestic stuff.  I can deal with 24 hours of duty in the hospital, but I remember that time when she had to leave us for a while, and I was left clueless with how to BE at home!  I was simply pathetic.  And I can also fall into the trap of letting her take care primarily of the kids most parts of the day (yes, she's still with us up to now, I JUST HAVE TO BORROW her from my mom).  She is like my second mom, and now she is like my sons' second mom.  And that just made me want to be more in control because THERE ARE ways or styles that I wanted to raise my boys that are different from how I was raised by my mom and her, for example, in terms of disciplining, and attitudes that I wanted the boys to catch.  Definitely needs working on.  Although she can be cooperative when it comes to what I want for the kids, it's not always that she is.

I know I'm partly ranting.  So anyway.   Here's a focus on teaching kids responsibility.  I realize that it's important to get them started early on (even experts say so).  And yes, let's not assume that they're too young to do chores.  Those who have been there say that they are actually more capable than we have thought of.

Since the 2 boys are in close age range, here's list that's good for both of them (for ages 3-5 years old):
  • brush their teeth (with supervision)
  • dress themselves
  • comb their hair
  • eat by themselves using spoon & fork
  • put toys away
  • put clothes in hamper
  • wipe spills
  • dust
  • return books to shelves
  • wash plastic dishes, utensils at sink
  • bring in mail
  • water plants
  • sort laundry
  • sweep floors
  • set & clear table
  • keep bedroom & play area tidy
  • fold laundry
  • anything else that I can think of that can be appropriate for them
  • The when/then can approach ("when you have kept your toys, then you can have your milk").  
  • Praise generously even before the task has been completed.  Encourage.  
  • Reward (i.e with stickers, small tokens).   
  • Allowances are discouraged, although monetary rewards can be given to older kids to motivate them to do extra work.  
  • Use a chore chart
I know that there are important things like having peace of mind, and the freedom to go away from home for a while with our Ate around (which is really priceless), and the extra hands that enable me to also take care of other important things without much hassle; but I also pray...

Lord, grant me the courage to let go, and go helper-less, so I may learn how to fully take responsibility, and take charge of, and run my household, the way you intended wives & mothers to be.  Amen.

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