Incorporating chores in your children's lives is key to "surviving"!! There are several things a young child can help out doing around the house. Even children that crawl can sit beside you and put toys in a basket. Teach children very young and they will absorb it quickly!
In our house, we have morning chores first thing in the morning, then school, then free time. Work before Play, if you can teach this to your children, I firmly believe they will go far in life!!! The above picture is Leah, age 22 months, doing one of her chores, putting Daddy's pop in the bottom drawer of the fridge.
So here's a look at our day, hope this is some encouragement to you out there will "littles"!!!
Morning is not my friend, and if I've been up a lot at night, then we tend to sleep in.....shhhh...don't tell anyone ;) Derek, doesn't seem to understand the concept of sleeping in, so he understands he may wake up normal and have some quiet free time before Mommy and the girls get up. However, if I'm already up or when I do wake up everyone begins on their morning chores, myself included!
1.) Get Dressed (Mommy helps Leah with this. I also change baby Leigha and my Leah's diapers at this time.)
2.) Make bed
3.) Put jammies under pillow, put sippy cup in the sink, and turn off night light
4.) Pick up room, anything that wasn't done the night before
5.) Breakfast/Brush Teeth
6.) Leah and I do dishes or start a load of laundry, Lindsay cleans the bathroom, and Derek does outside chores (feed dog, cats, and take out trash).
Then we begin our school day. After quiet time we also work on afternoon chores. Wednesday is laundry day for the kids. They each have their own laundry basket in their closets for dirty clothes and when it's their turn they take them to the laundry room and do their own load. Both of the older two know how to run both the washer and the dryer. Lindsay, right now, is responsible for both her and Leah's clothes. Mommy, then folds and puts clothes away when they are dry. They are both also responsible for stripping their sheets once a week and washing those. Then Mommy puts new sheets on their beds. I have other chores written on the fridge for other days of the week, such as cleaning light switch plates, baseboards, wiping down the kitchen trash can, fridge, stove, etc.
There are days, that my "help" can become a little overwhelming, but I have to keep in mind their "help" will not be perfect. Leah, right now, LOVES, to be in the kitchen with me at all times. And some days, I just want to hurry up and finish what I was doing, when here she comes pushing her chair over to help me. So I have to take a deep breath and find her something to help with. It is almost impossible for me to do dishes without her by my side now. I wash and she rinses ;) And when I cook, she is right next to me handing me things. She's very resourceful, I can tell her almost anything in the pantry or fridge to bring me and she will, as long as it's not on the top shelf. And I know in the long run, these are the moments I will cherish, when she's grown and gone.
There are lots of resources out there, that I have used for ideas in teaching the children. One of my favorites is Managers of their Chores . Check out the whole Titus 2 website. They have so many good books and training advice! Another favorite of mine is Homemaking 101 from Family Vision Films. Click Here to watch the trailer for the DVD.
I hope this is does encourage you with "littles". And just remember, that all of your hard work does matter. Even if you have to do it again tomorrow, you're working for the King!
Have a Blessed Day!!!