I love to do these posts as my kids hit certain "milestones" so I can remember what my standard was for my first borns. Mostly, because I see parents (including myself) lower them for the second, third ect.
My girls are as of this post 2 years 5 months old.
Here is just a basic list of some things the twins help out with around the house everyday
(1) Make Beds
(2) Pick Up Toys: I NEVER pick up after my toddlers and actually have Hayven (1 year 1 month) picking up after herself now too.
(3) Put Dirty Laundry in Basket
(4) Load Laundry Washer/Dryer
(5) Put Dirty Dishes in Sink
(6) "Help" Wash Dishes
(7) Wipe Table and Chairs after meals
(8) Set the Table
(9) Retrieve Things (Diapers, cups, remotes, anything I ask them to grab)
(10) Put Clean Clothes Away
(11) "Help" Fold Clothes
Do For Themselves:
(1) Put their own clothes on (Everything: underwear, shirts, socks, pants ect.)
(2) Put their own shoes and coats on
(3) Brush their own hair
**Now this stuff DOES NOT come naturally! It DOES take training.
It took about three days to teach the girls how to properly make their beds. We worked through the frustration and the urge to be lazy about it.
Since the girls could crawl we worked on them picking up after themselves.
They don't really help much with folding the laundry or with washing dishes, but just getting them in the routine of this will pay off in the long run. They will be fully capable on their won by the time they are 4 or 5 is my prediction...
Key Things To Remember:
- Don't Allow Laziness: Challenge them to always do their best. Don't allow them to get away with the bed being made "good enough". Raise the bar for them and they will reach it!
- Be Consistent: To create a habit, or if you even want kids who take the initiative around the house, you need to be consistent with what you tell them to do. My kids MUST bring up their dishes after EVERY meal and snack. They MUST pick up after EVERY toy they are done with.
- Teach and Inspect: You WILL have to literately teach them to strap their shoes on, literately take their hands and guide them with making the bed, and teach them to search for something when they can't find it. THEN you will have to get through the whining when you told them to wash the table 3 times because it wasn't done well the first 2 times teaching them to work cheerfully... EVERYDAY... :)
- IT GETS EASIER!!: Your battles will change. I don't fight the girls about cleaning their room or picking up the toys in the living room. They know what I expect and what happens if they don't do it right the first time. They offer to help with dishes and remind me that they need to wipe the table. They take other people's dishes to the sink without being asked. They automatically grab laundry and "help" "fold" the laundry with me.
I honestly believe it should get easier the older your kids get. Even with the more that you have. If you train them up right, they should be more of a help them a burden. Not saying that you won't have HARD TIMES or that you will finally have a point when your TRAINING IS DONE...
Just as we grow in our relationship with the Lord we deal with different things as we get older. I no longer deal with the urge to cut, or the pull toward an eating disorder which were BIG hurdles that I thought I would deal with my whole life!! Now God is teaching me how selfish I am and how prideful I am.
Keep Pressing On Parents!