When one has four children (under eight years old), a business and chronic health issues (and all of the rest of the details of life) one needs systems. I am a busy mama. If you are too, this system will knock your socks off.
One system that doubles as help for me but is good for the children is the kids chart.
Benefits of Children Helping at Home
Children helping out at home helps them learn independence (in an age-appropriate manner), builds their self-esteem and helps with the sense of belonging. You are teaching them that their contribution matters.
Research by Marty Rossman, Emeritus Associate Professor of family education from the University of Minnesota “shows that involving children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. By involving children in tasks, parents teach their children a sense of responsibility, competence, self-reliance, and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives.”
Help is important. Not only are you teaching your children vital skills but you are distributing the load. When they are young this is more of a future investment, but the small helps can add up.
My Busy Mama Chart and Process
I Googled “age appropriate” chores (these vary) and coupled this with what I know about my kids. We came up with a chart of jobs we can expect my kids to do.
For example, the 7.5 year old will set the table, clean up his toys, use the small vacuum for clean ups, make his bed, tidy his room and fold and put his own clothes away.
The four-year-old takes his turn setting the table, cleans up his toys, tidies his room and puts his clothes in his drawers.
Our nearly three-year-old will clean up his own toys, help set the table a couple of times a week and basically “help” with other tasks so that he is learning and will eventually take them on himself.
It has been so fun watching them to take responsibility for their tasks and for my almost three-year-old grow what he can do.
Will the chart really help?
Let’s face it, the benefits at this point on my energy levels are slim. But we are investing in their future (and ours) and isn’t that a big goal of parenting? When they are 10, 7.5, 5.5 and 3.5 years old it will be so fabulous, I will never have to set the table and will have a little army of helpers!
What can you do with a little bit of extra time? Make time for your own self-care!