Want to know how to get a chore done in double the time it normally takes you? Just ask your two-year-old for help!
We haven’t set up a chore list for our toddler yet and instead assign him tasks as the opportunity presents itself. These are the chores that he has done on a semi-regular basis:
- He puts his clothes in his hamper.
- He places his utensils on the dining table.
- When we do laundry, he helps put clothes into the washer and dryer. When we’re folding the clothes, he throws the dryer sheets into the trash can.
- Similarly, when he finds mess around the house or even leaves at the park, he throws it into the trash can.
- When he spills something on the table, I give him a rag to wipe up his mess.
- He helps put away his little knick-knack toys like links, Legos and crayons.
All that sounds fair and good, but usually the chore takes a long time because of my two-year-old’s “help.” For instance, when he’s helping fold laundry, he goes through the unfolded clothes in the hamper and tosses them into the air. Once the hamper is emptied, he gathers clothes from the floor and dumps them back in. And sometimes he ends up grabbing clothes that are already folded, making an even bigger mess. And the cute-but-maybe-not fact is that he genuinely thinks he’s helping!
That said, the extra time is well worth it—he’s eager to help, and I want to embrace his willingness. Encouraging him to contribute to household chores includes many benefits that he’ll garner:
Pride and self-esteem
After LO finishes a chore, he loudly exclaims, “You did it!” or “Thank you so much!” He’s clearly happy about his growing independence as well as pride in completing a task.
Valuing a tidy home
When we stress the importance of regularly cleaning our home, LO learns that a clean and tidy home is something worth maintaining while a messy one just won’t do.
Getting used to cleaning and helping
I don’t want to have to nag LO to clean or help others, so I want to start drilling it in his head about what we expect. Less stress for everyone in the long run.
Feeling part of “Team Family”
Chores are yet another way we can build family cohesion because every member contributes.
This little guy is going to be a future adult
My parenting philosophy stems from one general idea: that our job is to help LO grow into an adult. Preferably one that also knows how to fold laundry.
What other benefits can children get by doing chores? What other chores can two-year-olds participate in?