Chores Teach A Child To Choose
We discussed yesterday that chores train a child to do what is responsible rather then what is pleasurable. The question is where is a parent to start? The concept of chores is something that can start as early as preschool with simple tasks. In our house, we are working with our three-year-old son teaching him how to clean up after himself. He picks up one set of toys before bringing out another. Of course it would be MUCH faster, and I probably wouldn’t have to sing the clean up song, if I just ran around after him straightening. If I consistently did the work for him, however, then he wouldn’t be ready for the next step, cleaning his room on his own.
For any child utilizing the ICE plan is key for chores. Instruct them what your expectation is. Tell them ahead of time what the consequence is for not completing the chore and what the reward is for completing the chore to your expectation. Finally and sometimes most difficultly we have to step back and let them exercise their choice. Are they going to choose a reward or consequence?
In the residential homes at Sheridan house the teens have chores every morning. The room that does the best in their chores gets ice cream at the end of the week. Many kids are reward driven so attaching rewards early on for a job well done will easily teach that it’s worth it to work hard.
For more on chores listen to today’s podcast.