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Seven chores for your preschooler

Getting kids involved in household chores is beneficial in several ways. It helps children learn skills and responsibility and build self-esteem – Radhika Meganathan & Sherine Kingsly

Juggling parenting, household chores, office work, socialising and multi-tasking can drain your energy. Getting kids involved in household chores is beneficial in several ways:

* Helps children learn skills and responsibility
* Builds their self-esteem when they learn they are making a meaningful contribution to the family
* Facilitates quality family time together
* Makes life easier for all family members

Comments Chennai-based clinical psychologist Parimal Pandit, program director, Counseling and Resource Centre, V-Excel Education Trust: “There’s a lot of talk about today’s kids being selfish and irresponsible or addicted to gadgets, but people don’t realise that they were not born that way. The onus is on parents to start developing responsibility and a work ethic in children by involving them in household chores from early age. It develops their self-esteem, helps them learn skills and contributes to family bonding.”

Here are seven simple chores for preschoolers:

1. Collect trash from the floor or garden and put it into the appropriate dust bin.

2. Put dirty clothes into the laundry basket. If the clothes are inside out, they need to be turned the right way. This is the right time to ensure that your child does not turn into an irresponsible adult who leaves dirty clothes lying around rooms.

3. Set the table. Colourful placemats, cutlery and break-resistant crockery can be placed on the table. (As they grow, you can teach them to clear the table too.)

4. Put away toys and books in the right place which will save you hours of work.

5. Wipe doors, cupboards and windows with a damp cloth. Let them discover the pleasure of seeing shiny, clean surfaces.

6. Make their own beds. It is not realistic to expect preschoolers to do this perfectly, but they can be taught to straighten the sheets, put the pillows in place, and place soft toys/dolls in a corner. As they grow, they can learn to fold bedspreads.

7. Watering plants and pulling out weeds will give your child the pleasure of nurturing plants. Give your child her own plant pots or patch of land.

Be prepared to do some extra work because of the chores you allot. It is often simpler to just do it yourself as little fingers can be clumsy, but keep your eyes on the big picture. Dole out praise after a task is completed, and be sure to tell other family members and friends how helpful your little one has been. A positive attitude towards chores will make life simpler in the long run.

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