Sunday, February 3, 2013


One of the best ways to instill responsibility in your kids is by giving them chores to accomplish.

Well, myNatnat might be too young to do any right now. But she actually do chores around our house. Before you call child services or judge me of child abuse, all chores are supervised and in my opinion, are age appropriate tasks for her.

I let her "wash" the rice grains before I cook them. Of course, I rinse them again to make sure the grains are really clean before cooking. At first it was just to give her a feel of the grains -- for tactile sensation training. Then it became a habit. Now, everytime she hears me pouring rice grains inside the pot, she will ran up to me and give me a hand in cooking rice. Not so bad for a 16month old huh?! I let her switch on the rice cooker too --for her fine motor skills exercise. Then she claps for herself (before I can even do as Im still at awe at all the things she can do now) after she has done all tasks. Such a good girl.

Lately, after eating, my little one gives her plate to her daddy, who is doing the dishes. She might have seen us clearing up the table after dinner. So now, we leave the "safe for toddlers" plates and utensils on the table after eating so she can hand it over for her daddy to wash. And she has done this chore consistently well.

The little one also waters the plants, throws her dirty nappies in the bin, put dirty clothes in the hamper, packs away her toys and gives the mum& dad a massage when asked to do so. (They are not always perfectly done as I wanted them to, but the effort is there and I'm so proud to have a very helpful and thoughtful daughter.)

Sooner or later I have nothing left to do in this house. Yippee!

Household chores might be finished a lot faster if I don't do those skills training for my little one. But hey, her motor skills are better now and she knows well responsibility better than adults do. *Wink , wink*

From a Pediatric Physical therapist's POV, any child can do simple chores as long as he has:
1) good comprehension of the task he is asked to do
2) good head and trunk control 
3) good grip strength
4) good lower extremity strength -- if the chore requires standing/walking
5) good balance and coordination

Here are some good points I found to guide us in assigning chores (aka responsibility training) for our little ones.

1) Don't insist on perfection. As for my little one, she is barely a toddler yet. So I can't expect her to really do tasks that well. She gets stars just for the effort or initiating to do any chore. Read more here: Divide and Conquer Household Chores
2) Your child may be able to do more than you think. Kids nowadays seem to learn easily. It took my little one a few minutes to figure out how to (press) play videos from the mobile which took years for my mom to do so. Start with a one step of a task at a time til the little one is ready for more. Read more here: Divide and Conquer Household Chores
3) It's the participation that matters. Participating in family responsibilities helps a child develop essential social skills  Read more here The Importance of Chores

Chore-trained or not, I'm just happy that my little one is growing up to be a nice, thoughtful and responsible little girl.

Check out these links for more suggested age appropriate chores list:


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