Giving your toddler chores to do may seem like it’s a chore all in itself. Especially considering that a toddler probably won’t be the most efficient worker. However, giving your toddler even the smallest responsibilities now, will pay off down the road. As a parent, giving your toddler chores is laying the groundwork for future positive habits. Not only that but having a chore to do makes toddlers feel as though they are someone who’s contribution is strongly valued.
There are many ways to teach your toddler to participate in household chores, you just have to keep things simple.
How to Teach Your Toddler to do Chores
Age Appropriate Tasks
When assigning chores, choose straightforward and simple jobs. Your toddler really doesn’t possess the cognitive ability to break down large projects or jobs into simple steps. For example, if you tell your toddler to go clean their room, you may be met with a blank stare as they are unable to process the steps necessary to do so. However, your toddler can be responsible for one small part of the job, such as cleaning up all the toys or putting their dirty clothes into a laundry hamper.
If your toddler tries to complete a task on their own, you must be patient. Jumping to the rescue every time your little one struggles sends the message that you don’t believe in their capabilities. If you feel it’s necessary to offer any kind of suggestion, do it patiently and kindly but never belittle their efforts.
Make Helping Habitual
Create a routine based around the times chores are performed and designate one day a week for deep cleaning. This will help your toddler learn to predict when they will be required to perform certain tasks and get used to those tasks in specific.
Make Chores Fun
Chores don’t have to be boring and if you are hoping to involve your toddler in performing them willingly, it’s a good idea to make them enjoyable. Try putting on some music and dance your way through cleaning. Not only is this good exercise but it’s a tonne of fun. If that isn’t up your alley, make cleaning a game. See how fast your little one can put their toys back in their toy box or challenge them to a “dust off”.
When it comes time to teach your toddler to do chores, there are a few things you have to make sure you pay attention to. Always make sure that the chores you are assigning are age appropriate, stand back and allow them to accomplish them on their own, make cleaning a habit and make chores more fun to participate in. In no time, your toddler will be helping you out around the house.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!