Read on for more tips on how to raise a responsible and hardworking big kid.
Cleanup smarts The home is a child’s training ground for bigger challenges, and parents are his first teachers.
Dr. Gustillo-De Ocampo says chores also lay the foundation for mathematical skills. Simple household chores such as pouring soy sauce into a saucer enhance motor skills, while teaching them the concept of estimation.
Sorting out clothes for laundry teaches them about sets and color discrimination. Along with the analytical skills they learn, helping in household chores teaches them discipline and roletaking.
Having a task chart and a time table visible will allow the child to be aware of the distribution of roles in the family.
Household chores should never feel like a .chore. for your child. Start with simple tasks then move on to more difficult activities as he grows up. In the long run, he’s bound to have a more positive attitude towards work.
4 ways to make ‘em work
1. Model the right attitude “Walk the talk!” says Dr. Gustillo-De Ocampo. If you highlight the chores as fun activities that brighten the home and make others feel good, then your child will learn to look at his task as a significant contribution to the home and not just a chore he is forced to complete.
2. Be consistent Make sure everyone in the family follows a system. There should be consistency and harmony in distributing the share of chores among family members.
3. Provide age-appropriate chores Give small chores at first. Allowing your child to feel “accomplished” and good at a specific task (folding table napkins or lining up the shoes on the shoe rack neatly) boosts his confidence, inspiring him to do more. (Check out Chore Patrol: Age-Appropriate Household Chores for Preschoolers)
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4. Praise a job well done Children need feedback, especially on positive behavior. Saying “Great job!” or “I’m proud of you!” motivates him to do things by himself and get involved in household chores all the time.
Photography by Patrick Martires
SOURCES: ● Bernadette Benitez, M.D., section chief, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Muntinlupa; associate active staff, Department of Pediatrics, Makati Medical Center ● Maricar Gustillo-De Ocampo, Ph.D., education consultant and faculty member, Assumption College, Makati ● Funtastic Mathematics by Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, 2008