Last weekend, my husband and I were cleaning the house. Not our normal “pick up all the random laundry around the house and sweep the floors,” but the deep cleaning that we do to prepare for company (He was hosting a draft party).
We are blessed that our home has a separate, dedicated playroom that connects to our living room for our daughter. She is excellent at putting her toys back in that room when she is done playing so the shared parts of our home remain toy free, but she is not so great at keeping it organized.
While I was cleaning the rest of her house, I directed her to clean her playroom. She has done it many times before, and while I got some sass from her that day, typically she is eager to help with the household chores. (What I didn’t mention… She told me she wasn’t cleaning and promptly called my mother to come over and help her. Nana dropped everything and came to her rescue.)
That episode made me start thinking about making an official chore list for her so that she continues to develop the sense of accountability that is already innate in her. At 3.5 years old, Evelyn’s current chores are:
- Putting toys back into her playroom when she is done playing with them. While I don’t actually expect her to keep the playroom clean, I do expect her to assist me in maintaining organization.
- Making sure that our dog has food and water before we go to bed each night.
- Helping me with the dishes (though this always creates way more of a mess, it is her favorite chore).
- Help fold the towels.
- Control the dustpan when I sweep.
- Get the mail.
I am sure there are more things that I have her assist with in our everyday life, but these are the things that if I were to start doing without her, she would get upset and tell me that was her job. I love that she expects to be a part of our everyday housekeeping and familial responsibilities.
It is rewarding to me to see the pride she feels when she completes a chore. Last week, after cleaning her playroom (again with Nana’s help) she just ran around singing to herself that, “she did it, she did it!”