One of the most important parts of being a mother is to teach our children how to be independent. Teaching them how to work hard and follow through from an early age is key to teaching this skill.
Whether you have a few children or a large family the skill of being independent is imperative for every child to learn. We can’t be constantly doing everything for our children. We can’t always be cleaning up after them for 18 years and then send them off into the world to take care of themselves. They will have no clue how to do the simplest things.
At some point having children who cannot take care of themselves becomes a frustration for parents. When you constantly need to stop what you’re doing to help your 6 year old do something he should already know how to do you will find yourself becoming more and more frustrated with parenting. I am sure we can all agree that this is not a good place to be.
Then on the flip side we have mama’s who don’t want their children to grow up too quickly so they do everything for their children in order to feel needed. The problem with this way of thinking is that we want to be raising our children to be capable adults. We shouldn’t be hindering our children from learning life skills because we need to feel needed.
This is such an easy thing to do! I am sure most mama’s can relate that there is a balance needed to not do too much for our children. We do want to feel needed. But we are needed in a new way as our children age. Mama, your child will need to be there for him in many other ways other than needing you to brush his teeth for him. He will need you to listen to him, help him problem solve, help him with his questions and thoughts and social life. We may not be needed for dressing and bathing but we will be needed in other areas, don’t lose your self worth as a mom with this area.
One way that I love to help my little children develop the skills needed to be independent is to create age appropriate chores for them to complete. As they age we add chores. You cant start too young with chores. My 14 month old was throwing away dirty diapers for me when his little brother was born and he was helping unload the dishwasher.
Teaching children that they can be helpers in the home from an early age will help it become a natural way of life for them. You will also be encouraging them to be cheerful about helping and working. My 14 month just loved being able to throw things away for me! Praise was his reward and now at age 5 he is still a big helper to me and will typically ask for a job to do for me.
I’ve found that as they’ve gotten older instead of haphazardly giving them jobs, I found that using a chore chart system allowed them to be even more independent. They no longer need me to tell them what they needed to do. They can go check their board to see what they need to accomplish during the morning and throughout the day.
But you need the right system in place in order for this idea to be successful. We have tried a few chore chart systems in just over 4 years and this method that we use now has been the most successful method. My children LOVE it and actually want to use their chore charts every day.
How to Make a Chore Chart Your Preschooler Will Want to Use
1. Once your Laminator has warmed up, laminate all of your sheets.
2. Cut out whichever chores are age appropriate for your child.
3. Cut each square magnet into 4 pieces. This helps them last longer for other projects or when you are ready to add more chores for your child.
4. Stick each magnetic to the back of the chore pictures.
5. To make the chore charts decorative or to remember whose is whose you can choose a washi tape style for each child and then tape it to the border of the board. Then place one line in the middle of the board. The top section will be the chores that need to be completed while the bottom is the completed section.
It’s that easy!
Now, what is the cork board for? Well in our family we use that for their rules and their reward system.
We use these amazing free printable reward bucks and for each rule that is obeyed or each behavior that we like to see is done we reward them with this money. (Also laminated for longevity!)
After awhile we will count them up and they can earn a prize off of the rewards paper (also included in the packet!).
Each rule or behavior is priced differently based on importance. Such as kindness, we are focusing on being kind so when we see that behavior they will get a $5 reward buck instead of $1. You could focus on being generous, having a good attitude, and so on. Or focus on more than one at time. Whatever works for your family!
Each day that every chore is completed they will earn an extra reward buck for doing a great job. This encourages them to keep at it everyday. The more reward money they earn the bigger their prize can be.
But by all means, you can just buy a whiteboard and forget the whole rewards system all together. But this chore chart method has been working for a year now and I am convinced it will keep working! It’s a chore chart my preschoolers actually want to use, score!!
Your turn! Do you have your children complete chores every day? Do you have a chore chart system in place that is working? Let us know in the comments!
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