Getting her to wash a dirty cup or to tidy her clothes allows her to become more responsible and disciplined, says DR RICHARD C. WOOLFSON.
By the time your child is ve or six years old, you can reasonably ask her to assume responsibility for some basic household chores.
She might not be happy about it, but she should learn to complete simple household chores. Point out to her that doing so goes beyond helping you out – there are important values to pick up, even though she might not agree.
She is part of your family
Allocating your six-year-old routine tasks develops her awareness that she is a committed member of your family, and must play her part like everyone else. It strengthens her emotional connection with you and her siblings because it signals to her that everyone is in it together.
She has personal responsibility
She is old enough to understand that she is also responsible for what happens at home. She must learn to care for herself, as well as everyone else in the family.
She needs self-discipline
Performing household chores requires the ability to decide when to start, how to prioritise, and so on – all of which boost self-discipline. It is a useful life skill.
She will have to bear the consequences of her actions
You can be sure that she will think twice before splashing paint all over the kitchen oor when she discovers she must clear up the mess up later.
She should care about others
Not all chores should revolve around her. Some will involve helping others, such as pouring a glass of lemonade for her younger sister, or bringing her older brother a pencil. Chores give her an opportunity to develop natural kindness and empathy.
She should do something for nothing
Never offer your child a reward for doing a chore – it suggests this is not part of her routine. After all, you don’t expect a reward every time you pour her a drink or offer her a biscuit.
Choose chores she’ll be able to manage without constant supervision, such as tidying her toys, putting her clothes in the drawers, lling a glass with juice, emptying the waste bin, returning books to the shelf, and taking empty cups back to the kitchen.
Once you have drawn up a list, sit down with her and explain what you expect of her. Remind her that she is older now and, as a result, needs to do more.
Reassure her, however, that she needs to do only small tasks – she shouldn’t worry about having to do everything. Give her clear examples of what she must do, including when and how. Give her time to adjust to her new responsibilities. For example, start with one chore a week. When she becomes comfortable with that, consider extending her responsibilities gradually.
Give her time to adjust to her new responsibilities. For example, start with one chore a week.
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