March 18, 2014

Chore Time For Ollie . . .


Five years ago I wrote a novel on this blog about why I make my kids do work. Five years ago. That seems like one hundred years ago. Owlie was not ours. RedDog was just a little older than Owlie is now. Big C and Hannie B were far from being the crazy pants teenagers they are today.

It was one of the most popular and commented upon posts I had written up to that point. I followed it up with two more posts on chores. If you’d like to know my philosophy on chores, you can read all three posts here, here, and here.

I’m proud to tell you that the Meanest Mom In The World in me is still going strong on making the kids shoulder a portion of the work/chore burden around here. And it is still a beautiful thing!

I snapped this picture of my boy this morning as he put away the silverware from the dishwasher. This is a new chore for him. He’s getting so good at it! First, I remove anything sharp from the basket – knives, scissors, the pizza cutter, etc. Then he does the rest. It’s a great chore for a 4 1/2 year old because he just needs to look at sizes and shapes to determine where things go.

Owlie is also on a week long streak of making his own bed. It’s not a quality product he’s turning out, but this summer I’ll help him hone his skills to include tucking and pulling. For now I just straighten it out a little during the day when he’s not around.

The other things we have our little fellow do include setting the table, delivering all the shoes from the shoe basket to their rightful owners, pick up sticks in the back yard, clean up the play room and of course, maintain his personal space by tidying up his room each night before he goes to bed.

Not too bad for 4 1/2! The best part about giving chores to a 4 year old is that he’s very proud of his work. I love seizing upon that enthusiasm, complimenting him for doing such a great job and all around making him feel like he’s awesome and big because he can do chores. I also encourage the older sibs to make him feel special because he does chores. This way, he’s associating positive thoughts and feelings with the work process and will continue to contribute happily (until he’s a teenager, if the older two are any indication).

How young do you start your kids doing chores?


Apis Melliflora said...

My kids loved cleaning toilet bowls, washing cars and windows from a very early age. Maybe 2? I did have to redo, but that was okay.

Now they grumble.

The key to cleaning sanity around here is that boys clean their own toilets (and surrounding walls and floors). Did I mention the grumbling?

Elise said...

My four year old loves putting the silverware away! If anyone else does it she gets very upset, tears and all. (I guess that is the girl in her) :) Four year olds are also great garbage can runners! She gathers them all up, I empty, she takes them all back. At this point chores are more fun than not for them! I love it!!

The Queen Vee said...

I love how he is concentrating so hard. I love that he has little jobs that he can do. I love that you let him make his bed and then straighten it when he isn't looking (I still do that with your dad if he makes the bed) I love that you are trying hard to teach your kids how to work. It's one of the most important things that a parent can teach a child.