Grace is now 3-1/2 but since the last time I posted about little ones and housework, we really haven't made any huge strides in the chore department. We've added just a few new things.
Grace now has the following responsibilities:
- Pick out her outfit and dress by herself. Put away her pajamas, throw dirty clothes in hamper.
- Make her bed.
- Clear her own dirty dishes after meals.
- Help me load the dryer.
- Clean up her own messes and help Leah with hers.
- Set the dinner table. (I make the plates, napkins and glasses accessible for her and she does the rest.)
- Empty both bedroom and bathroom garbage bags. Replace with clean bags.
- "Helps" vacuum and mop.
- Carry the napkins to the hamper after dinner. (Work in progress)
- Clean up her own messes.
Our latest victory with Grace was learning to make the bed. When we first started, she would cry and give up. I would help her, but then I realized that she wasn't really making the effort that she could. So I simply told her that I wasn't going to help her, but I knew that she could do it all by herself. I stood nearby to step in to offer advice and encouragement. She wasn't happy, and when she finished, it wasn't perfect, but she had done it all by herself. I made a huge deal about how good of a job she had done, and told daddy when he got home from work what a big girl Grace has become.
The next day, I told Grace to make her bed while I cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast. You can imagine my shock when I went into her room a while later to see her bed made (see picture above)! I had been hoodwinked into thinking her bed-making abilities were sub-par, but now I know better...
My goal is not just to teach my girls how to do a job, but to foster initiative. I want them to see what needs to be done and do it, not wait for me to tell them. I know I need to be an example of this and I think a daily routine helps, but I would love to hear any other suggestions!