Teaching kids to be responsible at an early age is very important. I remember myself NOT helping in the household chores when I was a kid. My younger sister and brother were as LAZY as I was when they were younger. My aunt used to tell my mom to teach us to clean our room and help in the household chores so that we grow up to be responsible kids. But since we had household help (until now), we never really participated in everyday house duties.
Yesterday, when I was preparing for dinner, I asked Kaila to help me prepare the table. She immediately got the plates and put them one by one on the table. Upon my instruction, she also filled each glass with water, which she got from the dispenser. When everything else were prepared, she called everyone in the house so that we could eat together. Imagine her smile when I was telling my younger sister and my mom that Kaila helped prepare the table.
Training children to help in the household tasks is training them to be responsible individuals in the future. You are preparing your kids to become independent, so that when the yaya gets sick, or that when you cannot go home yet because there’s an important meeting in the office, they will not starve to death because they do not know how to use the microwave oven. It is important, however, to tell them the reason why you are requiring them to help. When I was younger, I did not understand why I needed to help my mom since we had household help. Children should know that being part of the household, they must be aware of the roles that each member of the family plays.
Teaching kids to be responsible is not limited to helping in the kitchen. If your child is too young to handle spoons and forks, you may begin by teaching them to put their toys back in their proper places after playing. You can also ask them to fold their clothes after they change to their sleepwear. Every time you sweep the floor, did you notice that your 3-year old grab it from your hand because he wants to do it on his own? Instead of getting angry, take it as an opportunity to train your kid. Show him the proper way of sweeping the floor.
Make sure that the tasks that you assigned your child to do gets accomplished. It will be useless if your little boy kept ignoring your command. If he is not yet ready to handle big tasks, do not force him to do so. If he willingly follows your instructions, congratulate him for a job well done. Show some appreciation. This will reinforce your child’s behavior.
Believe it or not, children as young as two years old can be trained. I began teaching Kaila to put her toys back in place when she was barely a year old. Today, she knows how to fold clothes and sweep the floor (well not really sweep). After she watches her DVD, she turns off the player and the TV. These are simple tasks yet every time Kaila accomplishes them, they make my heart leap.
In simple ways, you can raise a responsible child. Whether she’s three or seven, it’s never too late to assign them simple tasks that can help them become mature, reliable, independent, and dependable individuals in the future.