FTC Disclosure: I am a brand ambassador for McDonald’s of Central Arkansas, however, I will continue to share my honest thoughts and real experiences.
Christian is 5.5 years old now (Wow..time flies! Seems like it was just yesterday that I was sharing the story of his birth). I admit that up until recently, I really didn’t expect him to help out much around the house. I pretty much stuck to asking him to clean up after himself. Sure, I would do things like ask him to carry light bags of groceries in the house, hold the dust pan while I swept, and help me fix the bed. However, outside of him cleaning up his toys, books, and shoes, I didn’t really expect for him to do very much.
Now that he is getting older, I think it’s time that he had a more active role in household chores. There are several benefits to teaching him how to pitch in around the house.
Benefit #1: It Helps Me
Come on – I’m sure you knew this was coming. Ha! As a single mom, all of the household tasks fall squarely on my shoulders (at least until I can afford to hire someone to help me). Having a second set of hands pitching in sometimes will definitely make thing run a bit more smoothly.
Benefit #2: He Will Develop Key Life Skills
Have you ever met an adult that didn’t know how to do something as basic as do their own laundry? I know I have! My goal, as a parent, is to prepare my son for adulthood. That includes teaching him how to take care of himself and his home. So I am starting now with teaching him how to do some of the basics.
Benefit #3: It Will Boost His Self-Esteem
If you have been around my son for any length of time, you have probably heard him exclaim “I love helping people!” Fortunately, that is a character trait that he has in abundance. It makes him feel good to help others and he looks for opportunities to do so. Hopefully, as he helps me out around the house more, he will get the feeling that he is contributing in a major way
Benefit #4: It Will Give Him a Sense of Responsibility
I also feel that knowing that there are things that he can do around the house to be helpful will instill in him a sense of responsibility. I want him to understand that running a household is a responsibility – not just for me, but for everyone in the home (depending on their age and ability). He is at the age now where this is a good lesson to learn.
With that being said, I am being more intentional about teaching how to do various tasks around the house. For example, he is learning how to sweep up messes as well as how to properly use our Swiffer Wet Jet to mop the floor. He is learning how to use the vacuum cleaner in the bedroom (the one room in the house that is carpeted). He is also learning how to sort the dirty laundry so that I can wash it, as well as how to help me hang the clothes up to dry.
Although I don’t want Christian to get into the habit of helping out only if he will get something in return, I do want to show him that I appreciate his help. That’s why I came up with this Home Helper Reward Chart.
It’s really simple. I simply list the household tasks that I need help with on a regular basis and every time he helps out with one of them, he gets a sticker (I buy packs of stickers from Dollar Tree). I chose to focus on tasks that extend beyond things he absolutely has to do for himself, such as getting dressed, picking up his toys, brushing his teeth, etc because (as I mentioned), I don’t want him to think he needs to be rewarded for doing those things. Instead, I focused on those things that are household tasks, such as helping with groceries, laundry, dishes, sweeping and mopping the floor, etc.
His rewards are McDonald’s treats. I chose McDonald’s because he genuinely enjoys going to McDonald’s to eat and play. I enjoy the fact that they have healthy options for both of us. I also love that our local McDonald’s has an indoor playplace, so we always have somewhere to go play – regardless of the weather. Besides, if he gets a McFlurry – so do I! Win-win!
If you like the idea of using a Home Helper Reward Chart for your family, feel free to download mine. 🙂 I chose not to do a weekly one just because I think that gives the impression that he needs to do all of those tasks on a daily basis. Let’s be honest – I don’t even do all of that every day. Lol! You can either save the document to your computer to print out whenever you need it, or you can be thrifty and laminate it. You can use stickers if you want, or you can simply put an X or √ to mark off tasks they have done. If you prefer to list different tasks or rewards, you can simply edit the document before printing (it’s a Microsoft Word document).
To get started, simply click on the drop down menu on the image below to either download a copy or print the PDF version. Enjoy!
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