I can't even imagine being one of those moms whose child refuses to do chores. I'm constantly racking my brain to try and come up with new things that He-Man can do safely in order to help around the house. He so enjoys being a little helper. I think that the main reason that he's developed such a sense of pride in being helpful is because I use encouragement instead of praise to help motivate him. There is a very slight difference between the two concepts and I feel like, for the most part, I've mastered the art of being an encouraging mother. Lately, I haven't even had to ask or remind him to do his chores. He just jumps in. I say something like, "Wow, I got that done a lot faster with your help. Thanks." or "I sure do appreciate it when I don't have to do all of the work myself. You are a helper." Well, he can't get the work done fast enough. His jobs are to put away the silverware from the dishwasher, put his dishes in the sink, help put away the dishes, and sorting the recycling. He's even gotten pretty good at being careful when he picks up a tin can and careful to gently place the glass into the bins. I'm very impressed. Yesterday I knew that I'd done a great job in the parenting department when I thanked him for putting away the silverware and he said something to the effect of, "I like to do things to help you and dad. If I can do them then there is no reason for you guys to do them." Amazing. I mentioned to him that his desire to take some of the load off us is a great sign of respect and that he should be proud. Just look at him beaming.
I didn't really do chores when I was a kid. I remember that I fed the dog. Most of the time. I put away the laundry occasionally. I dried the dishes and helped put them away. But I don't remember being encouraged for doing them. My parents often stated that my job was to go to school and learn. And well, I don't even have to tell you what I think about that! When I think back to my fragile self-esteem and how much I just needed to feel worthy, accomplished, and appreciated, I can't help but imagine that maybe a little bit of responsibility would have gone a long way.
What are some of the chores you have assigned to your children? Any ideas on chores that are appropriate for a 5 year old boy?