If you are a mom like me you probably have a million and one things to get done (just today) and since there is only one of you and only 24 hours in a day, chances are one or more of those things are gonna get pushed to tomorrow’s to-do list. There’s this quote said by someone, somewhere, and it goes like this … “Mommin ain’t easy.” And boy were they right! Luckily for us moms, those little tiny humans we created grow into smart little sponges that learn something new every day. Once they hit a certain age –for mine it was around age 2- they want to do everything that you’re doing. Even the mundane chores that I have grown to despise as an adult, my child is usually eager and willing to do with a smile on her cute little face.
Who am I to tell her she can’t fold the washcloths or put the socks away??
Honestly, now that she is inching her way towards 4 she isn’t as eager as she once was to help mom pick up all the toys while singing “clean up, clean up.” It takes a little more convincing now, but I’ve found that letting my daughter (and son as soon as he’s big enough!) do a few small chores around the house on a regular basis has been good for her confidence. She is just so proud of herself when she “makes her own bed,” or “helps dust” the furniture.
I want both of my children to know they are responsible for something other than just themselves. Before I had kids if I would have heard someone talking about their 3-year-old doing laundry I would have thought, “what kind of crazy child labor is that?” But I now know that letting her think she is folding the laundry perfectly (even if that means I get to refold that laundry again later) gives her a sense of accomplishment.
Here are a few easy chores your toddler (aged 2-4) can do:
Laundry/Dishes– I put laundry and dishes together because I always end up refolding, or rewashing a few of these. But she does her best and that’s what counts! Folding hand towels and her baby brothers spit rags is something she can do on her own. Also, if we are just loading the dishwasher and not actually hand washing the dishes I just let her rinse them all while I load them into the machine.
Sweep– This one my three-year-old can pretty much do alone, sometimes she needs a little help, but she gets better all the time.
Dust- This is by far her favorite thing to do. I spray a little lemon pledge on the rag and she runs around the house dusting and wiping everything down. She has fun doing it and its one of the things that I felt like I was always leaving for tomorrow, but not anymore.
Pick up toys– I feel STRONGLY that I should not have to pick up toys, especially if I wasn’t the one that dumped the entire toy box on the floor. Sounds fair right? Tell that to a toddler. But it gets done… grumpy faces and all. (Now that her little brother is following her lead, she has him helping her, which is fine by me!)
Make their own bed– Kind of. My daughter tries really hard to do this herself but the comforter is just too big so I still have to lay the blankets out for her to tuck in. But she claims credit for the whole thing, so I give it to her.
I’ll be honest and say that some days I think I’ve gone crazy and I should just make them get out of my way so I can do it without it taking forever. But I’m trying to raise good, responsible children. So that’s what I’m striving for, even if it kills me.
Thanks for reading!