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Old 04-13-2012, 07:07 AM   #11
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I think kids naturally want to help, you only have to ask. My kids (5 and 2.5) love helping me cook and bake, garden, clean, craft, make beds, put away clothes, fold laundry...

Really, if you make an effort to do fun things with your kids, they think most activities are fun - even chores! Lots of encouragement, enthusiasm and praise are key. Don't expect perfection, just be proud of the effort they put forth.

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:51 AM   #12
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Re: Chores for a toddler

my son is 2.5, so the same age, and he puts his dishes on the counter after meals, picks his toys up at the end of the night, puts his dirty clothes in the hamper. those are his regular "chores" i guess. he also randomly assists me with things like moving laundry over, setting the table, dusting, etc, although not regularly yet. BUT, he's not always super happy to do it, that's just part of being a kid. you have to start out slow, and try to make it fun. i act really excited and say things like "ok! let's pick up all your toys, and then we'll pick some to go take in the bath with you!" and then we sing a song or something while we're cleaning up (i'm always working along with him, there's no way he could do it on his own at this age). he's TOTALLY still resistant to it somedays, and it won't have anything to do with it. i usually have to get a little proactive and hand him things and say something like "ok! fast as you can, run and put this in the toy bin!" and then pick up something else and repeat. it's not REALLY helpful at this stage, and it does take longer than if i just did it myself, and can be frustrating. but, i try to think of it as instilling good habits as opposed to giving him chores to help me out. and, really, it just takes time, and then they do start to get it. he's still not great at picking up his toys, we have to keep working on it. but when he takes his clothes off at night, he automatically runs and throws them in the hamper now, i don't have to escort him over there and show him how to do it anymore like i did for the longest time. he's even started getting down from the table and automatically taking his plate, although he still usually needs to be reminded, and often throws a bit of a fit about it. but, an offer of "if you hurry and put your plate up, then dinner can be all over and you can go outside and play!" or something similar helps. they always get it eventually, it's just frustrating at first. but if you make it a habit now, in a couple years it'll be no big deal.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:10 AM   #13
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Re: Chores for a toddler

DD is 25 mos & has been helping clean up for a few months. She does clear her own plate, or if she doesn't like/want something, takes it to the kitchen & sets it on the counter. We didn't do that, we just got lucky there.

As for the picking up...yes, we tell her she has too many things out & needs to pick up before she plays w/ something else. She picks up at the end of the night, before bed. She frequently needs help or step-by-step guidance to do it ("Can you put your baby in the toybox? That baby--put her right here in the toybox!"). That usually works pretty well. I don't expect her clean up job to be perfect, & I'm not very rigid about it (I had no expectation that she would pick up when she had a stomach bug for a few days). I also give her warning that it's almost pick up time ("It's clean up time after we have snack") & we have her toybox on a kids' play rug (maybe 4'x5')...she knows that books & magna doodle, etc go on the shelves, most of the toys go in the box, & larger things, like her doll stroller or Little People playsets, have to go on the rug. I'm not crazy about everything being "in its place", but I need the toys to be contained so I don't trip over them. Sometimes she refuses...honestly, it's a case-by-case decision about whether that's a battle worth fighting. And I thank my lucky stars b/c she's a kid who generally likes things to be clean & orderly. She doesn't like to get dirty, she likes things to be in their places, and she'd really like to be big enough to help vacuum & mop.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: Chores for a toddler

I just really feel like it depends on how you go about it. Children can sense your emotions and tone really well so if you are telling her to do something in a way that she "HAS to do that" instead of saying like "hey, do you wanna help mommy do something?". You will get different results
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
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Re: Chores for a toddler

my 22 mo old LOVES chores. He will make up his own work if I don't give him any. When he dumps stuff out, I tell him to help me clean up and even if I stand in front of him with the bucket and tell him to put whatever in it, I will stand there til he does it. He loves to go outside, so I tell him we have to do whatever needs to be done before we can go outside and he will do it. He thinks it is awesome to put things in the grocery cart, to take out the trash and recycling and to put away the diapers, so I try to make sure he gets to do the "fun" chores he likes as well as some of the things he may not like (like cleaning up his spills)
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