Kids And Household Work


Dear Emilie,

Teaching little children to do  household chores is difficult and challenging. That is the reason why many mothers failed on this area.

Children like to help and imitate what their mother  is doing.  When  Mom is washing clothes, they  also like to dip their hands on the soapy water.  When Mom is  cooking, they are like little supervisors  watching their mother’s every move.   For them work is not work but something they can take part and enjoy.  Sadly, mothers’ usual reaction is to dismiss and direct the children to just play or worst, watch TV.  And why not?  Children’s clumsy little hands  slow down everything that mothers are  doing.  Yet when children like to help, that is the best time to teach them.   This stage is short and passing.     Missing this critical stage can spell the difference between a diligent and a lazy  person.

And so Emilie, I encourage you to  teach  your children  how to enjoy and  value work  early on.  If they want to help in washing clothes, give them a little basin and small hanky to wash. Teach  gently and don’t rush them.  Give generous praises. “Wow lang galing naman… maliit pa marunong ng maglaba.” . Train them to fold their blankets and fix their beds and other simple tasks.  But they need your gentle assistance.  Their work can initially hurt your eyes, but never criticise and always have a ready praise.  If you fail to train them,  then don’t  expect that they can help you when they are older.

Give them small responsibilities in the house like setting the table. If you give them that assignment, make sure that they  do it all the time.  This is the way to teach them how to be responsible. If they will set the table only when they feel like doing it, you are teaching them to be irresponsible. They will also have the same attitude when they are in school, or when they are already working.  Have the will power to let them do their assigned task.

Make work easier for them. If you like them to keep their toys, provide a nice box with their name on it  (decorate it as you wish) and tell them that that is the house of their toys. Toys don’t like to be out of their house (box) when not in use because they will get lost and feel sad. ( I often personified things  when  my children were still toddlers.). The same thing applies  for their clothes, bag, bike, pencil, scissors, etc.  A home  for every thing inside the house.

When they do good, don’t always promise tangible rewards like, ‘I will buy you this or that, or we will eat in Jollibee or McDo” Rewards are good at times, but children should be taught that the reward for a job well done is a “job well done”. Reward for good grades is not the medal, but having done what ought to be done. That is what the Lord commanded us (children too) to do.

Right now, you are given a  great opportunity to teach  your children how to value and enjoy work. Your success depends on your determination and perseverance.  Seize the moment. It will be short and passing. 


Love always,

Tita Haydee




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