Thursday, April 12, 2012

Teaching our children to find joy in every day work

My little girl is three, and she loves doing housework, and I let her. I think it is a perfect age to instill joy in keeping a home, and to try to perfect my attitude toward cleaning, cooking, and laundry. Too often, we as parents make so many mistakes that show up later in life in our children in their feelings toward work.

Our attitudes toward our daily tasks help mould how our children will feel about their lives later. If we dread mopping the floor, find laundry too trying, or grumble about going to work, you bet our children will as well. Instead, lets choose an attitude on joy, for we are not only serving our families, but the Lord as well. He put us here to nurture and strengthen our households, and these so-called mundane tasks are a part of a glorious calling from on high.

While they are young, and still enthusiastic, encourage them to do housework. Letting them help may take a little longer, but the benefits will show when they get older. My daughter loves housework, so I let her have joy in it and help me. It isn't always done perfectly. But, she finds happiness in it, is proud of her accomplishment, and she will gain independence and be more responsible.

Every child is different, but here is a list of things I let her do. This doesn't mean your child couldn't do more or less, it is just an idea. Note: I use only non toxic cleaners. I wouldn't let your child do some of these things if you use conventional cleaning products.

1. Wash dishes
2. Vacuum
3. Make the bed
4. Fold and put away small laundry (underwear, washcloths, etc)
5. Wash vegetables and put them into the cooking pot
6. Add ingredients from measuring cup to bowl or cooking pan
7. Wipe down the counters or table
8. Bring dishes to sink
9. Dust
10. Wipe down the bathroom
11. Load dryer or washer (I hand her items to put in)
12. Water plants
13. Pull weeds
14. Sweep
15. Put items in trash
16. Tidy room by throwing out garbage, putting toys away, etc.
17. Help stir food in the bowl (such as potato salad, cake, etc.)

What do you let your little ones do? Do they have any favorite jobs around the house?