Teaching Your Child Ways to be Helpful in the Home | Celebree School

Attractive Female with Vacuum CleanerCelebree Learning Centers presents a guide to incorporating jobs into your preschooler’s daily routine in a way that will help your child feel included and teach them to value the completion of tasks.

Jobs around the home can be extremely useful teaching tools when presented gradually to children as young as 2-years-old. Such tasks introduce children to the rewarding feeling of completed, good-quality work. Children who are given the opportunity to help out around the house feel that they are important players on their family’s team.

It’s important to teach the habit of helping as early as possible by focusing on the idea of helping rather than the actual task. Pre-schoolers generally love to help, so laying the groundwork shouldn’t take long.

Have confidence in your child. Parents who are teaching their child a skill often fall into the habit of completing tasks when their child is perfectly able to do so independently. Give your child the ingredients for a sandwich or a full watering can, and allow them the space and time to make lunch or water the flowers in the garden.

Utilize your child’s existing framework for basic personal self-care. Hand washing, dressing and using the restroom are all tasks your child regularly completes as part of their ‘jobs’. Gradually adding household tasks like setting the table or drying the dishes should be fairly simple. It will also help your child understand that the completion of their jobs contributes to the maintenance of the house, and gives you time to do your jobs.

The jobs you pick make a difference. Be sure you are assigning your preschooler tasks that she will be able to perform successfully with clear instruction. Children may feel inclined to quit if they are unable to complete the task assigned to them. Avoid assigning jobss that involve handling dangerous objects like caustic cleaning products or glass.

Here is a list of jobs appropriate for the little ones:

At 2… At 3… At 4…
  • Throwing away a leftover food plate
  • Putting dirty clothes in laundry basket
  • Placing napkins on the table
  • Sorting laundry by shade (light or dark)
  • Sorting laundry by color
  • Cleaning up spilled drinks or food
  • Picking a snack
  • Watering the plants (with supervision)
  • Setting the table (avoiding sharp utensils & glass)
  • Pouring liquids
  • Helping prep food
  • Sweeping and dusting with child-size cleaning supplies

Practice makes perfect. The practice of completing jobs successfully may take more time, but it will pay off when your child is able to contribute more substantially in a few years. Preschoolers are less willing to stay still and listen for very long, so they will likely forget that this job is a daily responsibility. Remind your child of his or her job each day as needed, and do not expect them to do a great job at first.

Be as detailed as possible. Demonstrate the job several times to ensure that your child knows what steps they need to follow. Keep your assignments simple. More than one task at a time may overwhelm your child. Give them time to complete the first task you give before assigning a new job.

Make sure the jobs have value. Not only will your child feel as though they are truly helping out, but their job will have value to the dynamic of the home as well. Even if it is something small, it can still be helpful.

Don’t fix your child’s work. He or she will likely lose confidence in their work and be less interested in helping if they see you re-doing their work. Begin the task and then allow your child to finish it. It doesn’t really matter if the place settings at the table are crooked, or if the bedspread isn’t even on both sides, does it?

Be positive. Preschoolers derive fulfillment and pride from positive feedback. Let your child know that her hard work benefits you and the rest of the family. For example, share with your child that when they sort the laundry for you, it helps you finish washing the clothes more quickly so you can take them to the park.

Introduce jobs into your preschooler’s routine one step at a time and share how thankful you are for their help. Your child will likely reward you by consistently lending a helping hand in the years to come. For more information about keeping a healthy outlook on jobs, contact the child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers today.