July 23, 2010, Newsletter Issue #214: Chores

Tip of the Week

Chores are a great way to teach preschoolers about responsibility. Not only that, but children who learn to complete their chores often grow up to be more independent, and develop better decision-making skills than their counterparts. In time, your child will be able to finish chores independently, which will boost her self-esteem and provide her with a sense of accomplishment. Since every child is different, be sure to take into consideration your child's age, natural characteristics, and abilities. Listed below are some age-appropriate chores for preschoolers.

Age 2-3   This is the age in which children are most interested in helping just for the sake of helping. If your child wants to "help" you vacuum, sweep, dust, or mop, encouraging her efforts now will pay off big later.

 Help load laundry into washer and dryer
Pick up toys
Put dirty clothes in hamper
Clean up spills
Help with setting table (pass out napkins) and preparing dinner (tear lettuce for salad)

Age 4-5   At this age, motivate your preschooler with a reward chart. Take the time to teach him step-by-step exactly what you want him to do and give him some independence once he has mastered it.

Clear dishes and put them in the sink after meals
Choose clothes and get dressed
Put clean laundry away
Bring in mail or newspaper
Make own bed
Match up socks in laundry
Help bring in groceries from car

Accept the fact that your child is probably never going to do the chore as well as you would do it. The lesson here is not about perfection. If you insist upon it being done perfectly, then your preschooler will get frustrated and may give up. Focus on what is acceptable and let her settle into her own way of doing things.

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