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chores for your four-year-old
I am big on children doing chores. I think it’s such an important way to teach a good work ethic and taking responsibility for things. The main reason I teach my children to do chores though is because I am their mom, but not their servant. Oftentimes on television shows, you see the children ask to be excused and simply get up and walk away. I’m sorry, but who is clearing the dishes? My children have two hands just as I do and are perfectly capable of putting their plate in the dishwasher. I start chores at a young age. Here is a list of chores that your four-year-old is capable of doing.
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We don’t pay our children for chores, but they are only 4 and 2. I expect as they get older, they will have their required chores and extra chores that they can earn money by doing.
Here are the chores that we currently require our four-year-old to do:
- make his bed
- get dressed
- clear his plate from the table
- put his clean laundry away
- put his dirty laundry away
- clean up his toys
Here are some other chores that are perfect for a four-year old:
- water plants
- feed pets
- empty non-breakable items from the dishwasher (I ask Theo to help occassionally)
- seperate clean socks
I will also occasionally ask him to help me empty the dishwasher. I don’t put this on his list because I usually do it before he wakes up. By the end of the summer I expect to add another chore to the list. I’ll either teach him to clean the windows or dust the base boards.
Don’t Expect Perfection
Your four-year-old is obviously not going to do things perfectly. When Theo puts his laundry away, he definitely doesn’t do it as neatly as I do it. That’s OK. Once in a while, I will demonstrate the correct way because I want him to improve his skills.
Theo is a bit of a perfectionist himself, so making his bed is tough for him. I had to really encourage him to do it and he told me over and over that it was too hard for him.
How Do You Get Your Four-Year-Old To Do Chores?
We’ve had these chores set for Theo for awhile, but he was pretty hit or miss about doing them without being reminded. I got sick of having to ask him to clear his plate from the table after every single meal. He would do it once I asked, but I wanted it to be more automatic for him.
I finally had a conversation with him about chores. I told him that chores are essential to keep our household running smoothly. I’m sure that means nothing to a four-year-old, ha! I then went on to explain that our household running smoothly meant that our favorite pajamas are clean so we can wear them and we have groceries and yummy meals. That made a bit more sense to him.
We then talked about what chores are for mommy and daddy, and what chores are for Theo, Josie, and Margo. Since Josie and Margo are only two, their only ‘chores’ are to put their dirty clothes in their hamper and help clean up their toys.
In the past, we have used sticker charts for behavior and they have worked well. However, I dislike having to print out a new chart every week to track things. So, I simply made a pretty print out of his chores, and at the end of the day, if he’s done them all, he gets a sticker. He’s been really good about doing his chores so far. He actually seems to enjoy having the structure!
If he starts to complain or not want to do them, then he will lose privileges. Hopefully, we won’t have that issue!
If you want to download and use my chore chart, you can download below.
It is customizable so you can choose whatever chores you want your child to do. You can just write in the chores you want them to do and you’re good to go!
How do you feel about children doing chores?
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