Teach Your Toddler to Help Around the House!
Don’t cry over spilt milk, teach your toddler to clean it!
Your toddler walks out of the kitchen confidently with his little hands securely wrapped around his small glass of milk, carrying it carefully, assuring himself that this time he will not spill his milk. With pride he places his glass on the table, when suddenly he trips and there it goes. He spilt the milk again.
Toddlers have an inert willingness to clean their mess. Yet, we discourage them to bear the responsibilities and consequences of their actions, by rushing to clean their mess ourselves. It’s easier and quicker to ask them to back off while we do it ourselves. However, by doing so we deprive our toddlers of many learning opportunities.
Children should be taught and trained from a young age to help with household chores. The minimum work they should be assigned is to clean up their own mess. Not just to wipe or clean after themselves, but also to wash their dishes/place them in the dish washer, put their unclean clothes in the laundry basket, make their bed… etc. Toddlers are already excited and willing to help around the house, but unfortunately it’s we who discourage them because we don’t have the time or the energy to teach them how to do it properly. If you don’t make use of this interest, your child will eventually lose this interest and you will have lost the opportunity to shape his character towards handling such responsibilities.
It’s important to foster independence at this very young age. This independence makes children more confident and helps them feel more competent and proud of their achievements. By doing simple household chores they also learn how to take care of themselves and take care of their belongings. It’s also important to teach our toddlers that a task ends when things are back in order, not when they are done with it. For example, lunch time ends when dishes are clean, not when they are done with eating. Playtime is over when the toys are back in place, not when they are done playing. So is homework, when books are back on the shelves or in their bag. Organizing becomes a part of their habit, rather than a duty.
By doing this extra work in the house, children develop a greater sense of belonging inside the house as they have clear set roles. They know that the house is a place that they share in taking care of, and that they have a role in sustaining, rather than a place that solely meets their needs and demands.
Read our article: Top Household Chores for Toddlers
Montessori way foundation is a subsidiary of Wellbeing Child & Parent foundation, an educational center with certified teachers & Positive Discipline facilitators that provides a customized learning environment, based on the Montessori education and principles. Classes are designed to help children (3-7 years) to be independent and lifelong learners who are academically grounded, socially confident and emotionally balanced.