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Most of the stress I experience comes from necessary day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining our home and my slightly perfectionist ways. Every mom of young children I talk to about cleaning says the same thing–cleaning with children in the home is practically a never ending chore. The trails of toys, mounds of laundry, sink full of dishes and kitchen floor dusted with crumbs for days are just some of the things I see everyday that just about send me over the edge. I am on a quest to eliminate stress and the desire for perfection. Since I love my kiddos dearly, I have decided to keep them around (wink) and put them to them to work.
At four and five years old, my girls are reading, writing, and spelling, so certainly they can do some cleaning, right? Absolutely! Kids can best learn how to be responsible people by actually having age appropriate responsibilities. We don’t use terms like “chores” or “rules” around here. My husband and I simply explain to our girls that we want them to start doing something and expect it to happen from that moment forward. Each year of their lives we have added one or two chores to their responsibilities, slowly, but thankfully, eliminating items from our to-do lists.
Is it time you consider putting your kids to work? If you have read this much of this post the answer is, “Yes”!
Chores 4 & 5 Year Olds Can Complete
Kids should allowed to be kids, so playing is highly encouraged in our home. However, keeping a home clean and managing life is a lot. Parents aren’t servants, and neither are kids, but giving four and five year olds simple cleaning tasks is teaching them how to be independent and responsible.
Sweeping the kitchen floor
If they made the mess, especially, they should clean it up, or at least help.
Keeping their room and play area clean
This is the very least kids this age can do.
Clearing the table after meals
They may or may not be able to carry glass plates without almost dropping them, but they certainly capable of carrying their own kid-friendly dishes to the counter.
Picking out their clothes
Kids may not always pick out clothes that we would, but let them be independent and create their own look from time to time.
Bathing & brushing their teeth
Run the bath water and allow the kids to do the rest. They may not get every piece of crust from their eyes or brush long enough in the beginning, but after while, they’ll get the hang of it.
Sorting their laundry
Correctly folding clothes is a stretch, but having the kids sort the socks, undies and pajamas will make one less thing to do.
Putting laundry away
You’ve washed them. You’ve folded them. Let them finish the chore!
Occasionally making their own sandwich for lunch
Put the kids in the kitchen and they’ll appreciate their food a lot more.
Wiping up spills
They happen (often if your kids are like mine) so encourage them to find a towel and clean up as much as they can.
How do you eliminate stress? Let me know what your children help you with around the house.