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Put Your Kids to Work

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

Add a new crew to your delegation list -- your kids. My youngest, Rowan (2.5 years old) assembles his lunches, gets himself dressed, folds washcloths, clears dishes after meals, puts his clothes in the hamper, and vacuums with a Dustbuster. 

The crazy thing? He likes doing it. Helping out around the house also teaches him independence, hard work, and responsibility. Here are some tips for mobilizing your mini-workforce: 

  • Start small. Pick one task at a time. Show them how to do it and get them to practice. Here is a list of age-appropriate chores. 

  • Adjust expectations. It won't be perfect, but they improve with practice. Invest today to make your life easier tomorrow. 

  • Put things within their reach. Organize your kitchen to make their dishes accessible. 

  • Positive reinforcement. Even if they mess up, thank them. If they feel useful, they are more likely to help in the future. 

  • Get them to do what you want before they get to do what they want. For example, no dessert until they clear the table.

  • Turn it into a game. I showed my kids a video of Mary Poppins's Spoon Full of Sugar, and Chloe put all of her toys away without me saying a thing. Try my favorite game -- Who Can Clean the Fastest? 

Put 'em to work! 


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