Kids want to be right in the middle of everything! They like being where the action is - even if that action is daily chores! So why not involve them? We, the parents, are to train our kids. And what better way to train than with hands-on experience?
In the kitchen, allow your children to take part in meal preparation. There are lots of jobs in the cooking process like stirring things, adding ingredients, putting stuff in bowls, etc. that kids can help do. They can also help in setting the table and putting ice in glasses! Teach your child how to help put dishes in the dishwasher, and wipe off the table! The benefits are yours, my friend!
Let your kids help you get their bath water ready! Show them how to turn the knobs, and let them pour the bubble bath in! You can also teach them to be able to put their own toothpaste on the brush! The can help in bathroom cleanup by helping you swish the toilet brush around and wiping off the sink as long as you don't use dangerous cleaners. I stick with vinegar solutions so they are safe for kids to use as well.
Make it a point that kids pick their own toys up. No mom should have to worry about this little chore after a kid reaches 3 years old. My three year old has no problem picking up his own toys, though I do have to remind him. They can also aid in making the bed, as they get a bit older.
Every now and then, let your kids be the ones to pick out a family movie, or a game for family game night. In cleaning, things like dusting and vacuuming are simple chores that kids can do well. It has never hurt a kid to help with chores - it has, however hurt a kid by allowing them to be chore free until they are teens.
Too many times, I've been at Wal-Mart and noticed kids screaming their heads off for no apparent reason. The parents were either trying to ignore it or bribe them to be quiet. In truth, neither of these worked. Kids like to be involved - even at the store. Engage in a conversation with your child as you shop. Talk about the colors you're seeing, the different foods. For instance, the other day, my son and I were at the store passing bananas. I said, "Oh, look, yummy bananas!" to which he replied, "I like yellow" "Yes, yellow is a pretty color. Would you like Mommy to get some bananas to eat?" "Uh-huh" "You know who else likes bananas? Curious George" Then for the next five minutes or so, we discussed curious George. It's all too easy if you just engage them!
Though kids have no business stating their opinion on certain matters of the home, I do believe that it is perfectly acceptable to allow your kids to put a vote in on certain subjects and decisions. Things like where you will vacation, whether you purchase a swimming pool or trampoline, where you go out and eat at, etc. are a few examples of kid friendly decisions. Just make sure they understand that mom and dad have double votes!
Play, of course! And when there is work to be done, put them to work! Let your kids help plant flowers, rake leaves and water the yard! They loved doing that stuff anyway! Digging in dirt and playing in water comes naturally to all kids - well, most kids. Some tend to not like getting dirty...if that's your case; I have no idea what to tell you!
I love involving kids in what I do! It makes things so much more interesting! What about you?
Top Photo Credit: RobinFotografeert
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