When I speak, I'm often asked how early kids can start to do chores.
And I usually say two. My girls when they were two loved folding facecloths when they came out of the dryer, and the cloth diapers that the baby was using. They could handle that.
Also, if you buy the dusting mitts that don't require any cleaner, they can put them on and then run their hands across table surfaces. They're so satisfied when they're done!
If you don't mind messes, kids can also have wet cloths to do a portion of the floor when you mop.
Kids like cleaning when they're small, and if you can start them on it, they're more likely to continue later!
Now here's the part where you have to take a deep breath: don't go around after them and fix what they didn't do. Lower your standards just a little bit so that you can teach them how to clean and they can be proud of themselves.
If they didn't do a great job, show them in a fun way. "Uh-Oh. Here's some more dust! Let's get it!" But it's better to have them clean and do it 70% as well as you would have then to not have them clean at all. Remember, you're raising them to run their own homes one day!
Also, there is a difference between getting kids to tidy and getting kids to do chores. Cleaning your room and making your bed is not chores. These are things every child should do for themselves from the age of 5-6 up. Chores are something that benefit the whole family and are in family spaces. All kids, I think, should have chores starting from about age 4, and increasing with age.
In To Love, Honor and Vacuum
I talk about this in detail, but if you have any specific questions, ask me, and I'll try to fire back some thoughts!
In the meantime, give your kids some cloths and see what they can do!
Labels: chores, homemaking, parenting