Do your kids help around the house? Or do you do everything for them? Do you think it is easier for you to do it yourself? Sometimes it is. But I am telling you...after a year of consistency my kids are actually doing a great job at their chores and helping around the house. It doesn't take a long time, and they don't mind doing it!
I have felt really strongly in our house how important it is to have our kids help. A while back I wrote a post here about kids and chores, and a really great book I read called The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent. She has great advice about appropriate chores for age, paying kids and teaching them independence.
So what should we have our kids do to help in the home. I think you need to start in their own rooms. Bed, clean up clothes, put dirty clothes away, put clean clothes away. Then they each need a chore. I rotate chores so all my kids do something different every day. My kids vacuum, they clean bathrooms, they do the garbage's, they wipe down door knobs, baseboards and light switches, they put away and help with the laundry, they clean up their messes, they help load and unload the dishwasher, they help make dinner. So what age do you start this you might ask? Start young having them help clean up their own messes. Around 12 months when kids start walking I teach them to help me clean up their mess. My 20 month old now cleans up most of his mess (sometimes I have to go reorganize it to fit it in the box right or on the shelf, but for the most part he knows how to clean up.
I used to think around age 3 they could start doing garbage's and helping me with chores, but since my older kids do jobs every morning they (on their own) have involved my 20 months old. He LOVES to help with laundry, putting dishes away, and gathering garbage's For laundry he unloads and then they put him in the basket and push the basket to my room where we sort and fold. The other day I was making dinner and didn't really plan on doing more laundry (you know fluffing the stuff up in the dryer the next morning to have the kids do) I looked over and there was Little Mister pulling everything out of the dryer and dragging it down to my bedroom. I could not stop laughing. My sister was visiting and after seeing that started thinking about how much more her kids could help after watching my 20 month old do laundry. Isn't he the cutest!?!
So let them help. They really will get used to it and start to like it. They might whine at first, but I promise you if you stay consistent they will start to do it without whining and complaining. It will just become part of their day, and it will help them to be a better grown up one day. I am sure that one day the wife to Little Mister will thank me for teaching him to do laundry at such a young age. And even if your dish cupboard looks like this after they unload their rack and put it away, at least they did it and are learning....(yes I did go back and fix it a little, but hey he is 4 and we haven't really worked on making things looked uniform and organized (that's next weeks lesson...lol)
Another question you might ask is, "Do you pay your kids to do their chores". This is really up to you. Growing up I got an allowance for having done my jobs every day. My husband doesn't agree with allowance so we don't pay our kids for doing their regular jobs, but we have a list of "Extra Jobs" that they can make money for. (ie...vacuuming the car, cleaning something extra, sometimes I even pay my oldest to 'babysit' while we are at a sporting event that I am trying to watch.) It really up to you.