My 2 year old does chores. I know not everyone agrees that children that young should be doing chores around the home, but in our house we do. And, Oliver loves it! Does he do them every time without complaining, making a bigger mess in the process, or having to be asked 1000 times - no, but I still love the responsibility associated with completing small tasks.
Here is Oliver's current list of chores that he knows how to do:
• Put his dishes in the kitchen (he puts them on the floor by the sink)
• Clean up his toys - put his toys in his toy box
• Put his clothes in the hamper
• Put away his shoes
• Give Mandy food (our dog)
• Get Mandy's leash
• Take Mandy outside to go potty (not by himself!)
• Throw Mandy's poop bag in the dog trash can
• Put Mandy's leash away
• Clean the coffee table (I spray and he wipes) if he makes a mess
• Clean up bath toys
Having a dog added a huge portion of chores to Oliver's list but it has really taught him responsibility and a love for caring for the well being of something other than himself. If we wake up and take Mandy to the bathroom without him he is DEVASTATED! When he wakes up he goes and gets his shoes, gets the dog's leash, and forces us to wake up to help him walk the dog! Sure, it would be way faster to take the dog ourselves, but I really feel it is so important to let him have this responsibility and love doing it.
Taking care of a pet is the first time a toddler learns to take care of something other than themselves. All of his other chores are about him - he made a mess so he cleans it up, he ate his food so he takes it to the kitchen, etc. But making sure Mandy has food is about being responsibly for something that has no benefit or reward to himself. We don't give him a prize for feeding Mandy or walking her. The love of his dog and caring for her is his reward.
If your toddler doesn't have a pet, I HIGHLY recommend getting one. Even if it is something small, like a gold fish, teaching them to feed it every day and help clean its bowl will be a huge milestone in their development of responsibility. If you have a pet and your children aren't currently helping care for it, I encourage you to use that opportunity. Letting them dish out the food might be messier and making them throw away the poop might occasionally involve them freaking out because they wanted to keep it (only God understands Toddlers!), however that lesson you are teaching them is worth the extra work.
The sooner they learn that the world is not all about them, the sooner they can start contributing to a healthy society!
I love our custom dog bowls fromCF Ceramics Co. Callahan did such a good job on these. Check out his Etsy shop to see more of his pottery creations. If you need pet food bowls he is your guy!
You May Also Like:
I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.