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Tagged: Early Years
I really should have started housework and other responsibilities with my son way before now. He’s 3.5 years old. I am now reaping what I have sown which has been to take the easier route of “just doing it myself”. He is past the “I can do it! I want to help!” stage. Sigh… I need help making a list of chores/responsibilities for him to do. What is reasonable? And maybe you have some tips on how to motivate him to do these things as well? I’d *like* this to be a positive experience for him. Either way I am raising a boy into the direction of irresponsibility, laziness, and a sense of entitlement and really need to turn that train around right now. I’m thinking requirements and maybe a rhythm to them (like every morning we…, before we do X, we do this…, etc.) will help. Maybe it will become a habit and like second nature. ? Today I asked if he wanted to help me hang laundry on the drying rack. He excitedly said ‘yes’ and came running. He hung up one sock then said, “I can’t do any more. I’m tired.” uuuuugh. Thanks in advance for your help!
Make a big fuss over what he does do. If he hangs one sock tell him SINCERLY, “Thank you for your help! That makes less work for me! With your help I’ll be done so fast that we’ll have time to play a game!” (perferably BEFORE he says he’s done). If on the other hand he hangs up one sock and says I’m tired and you argue with him, “you need to do more, you only did one, your being lazy……” you are punishing hanging up that one sock, and next time he wont even come running to help in the first place. Praise what you want (and what you get) and it WILL grow into more!
” You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative Don’t mess with Mister In-Between……”
Okay. I did praise him for hanging up that sock and well he did it especially since he has perfectionistic tendencies… But I did it well after he had abandoned the task.
Sorry – “and *how* well he did it”
So appropriate chores for a 3.5 yo?LindseyDParticipant
In regard to the “I can’t do it anymore, I’m tired” comment he made…My children have been known to do this in the past. I simply respond with, “Well, what happens when I’m too tired to cook your meals or wash your clothes? I guess you’ll have to starve and wear stinky clothes!” It took a few times of saying that before they understood that jobs are important and have to be done, whether you want to or not. You may have to explain that more simply for your 3.5yo.
I totally agree with praising him like crazy for even the smallest of tasks completed. It will encourage him to do more because he will want more praise.
Also, rather than a list of chores, you could take a Polaroid of the jobs you want him to do. That might be a fun way to get him to enjoy chores. Some ideas for things he can do: unload and sort the silverware from the dishwasher, empty bathroom trashcans, straighten stuffed animals on his bed or decorative couch pillows in the living room, help fold laundry, help set the table (by putting out napkins or silverware), help clear the table, wipe baseboards, use a hand-held vacuum to clean up crumbs on the floor after meal or snack times. Our children each had their own hand-held broom and dustpan for sweeping up crumbs after meals. They thought it was really fun.
Hope that helps,
My kids pull that all the time and I most definitely don’t coddle them. I think it’s just something developmental. Chores my kids do include, picking up toys, putting dishes in the sink, loading and unloading the dishes, drying dishes, laundry, window washing and vacuuming. I wouldn’t praise as much as show genuine appreciation for what he’s done. I play games too. To pick up toys we play I Spy, sometimes it’s toys by color, sometimes it’s by type. Dishes is “playing with the bubbles”. My husband mops the floor and the kids “wipe the bubbles”. We do cloths ball basketball too. Be creative and I’m sure you can motivate. If he says NO just say OK I’ll get to have fun without you and then do. They can’t help themselves. Eventually they will do it themselves but when it doesn’t feel like a chore it’s easier to do. A habit’s a habit no matter if you get them to drudge through it or play it up so it’s fun.
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