When your young child is ready to learn, teach him to:
Brush his teeth.
Dress by himself.
Put his toys away.
Make his bed with your help.
This means you must take time from your busy schedule to teach your child what he needs to know. Avoid trying to speed things up by doing his chores for him. If you take over his chores, he won’t achieve a sense of competence. He’ll become weak and you’ll become stressed. He needs to depend on himself for the chores he can do.
One more thing, avoid being picky. When your young child does pretty well, accept his efforts. Don’t complain about every little thing unless you want tantrums and tears. Instead compliment him on what he does well, “Joey, you pulled the covers off the floor. Good for you.” If the pillow is messy, ask him, “What do you think you could do about the pillow?” Let him straighten it. Praise him again with, “Good job, Joey. It looks great!”
Competence in young children is the “I can do it myself” attitude. This is an important quality for building character and self-esteem.
How to Get Your Child to Do Chores:
I used positive chore charts to motivate my boys. I also gave allowances.
Some of you may be against allowances. That’s fine. I viewed allowances as helping my boys learn how to spend money wisely. If they bought candy, it was soon gone. If they saved their money like Heidi did in her money jar, they could spend it on something of value or pay me to do their work…just kidding.
Why not build a sense of competence in your boys and girls with age-appropriate chores? Start when they are pre-school age. If you do, you’ll be building self-esteem and character too.