2014 is all about getting my kids to do chores.  I am committed to the training, the re-training and the follow-through for 30 days…and then hopefully it is a habit! For the first few days we worked on kids doing laundry.  The good news is that the washer and dryer are being used {correctly} with just a reminder.  The bad news is that folding is STILL and issue!  We will continue to work on that over the next few weeks. Starting yesterday we tackled kids emptying the dishwasher! kids emptying the dishwasher - Kids Activities Blog   OK, that photo just makes me laugh because my youngest is 8…but a mom can remember.

Kids Emptying the Dishwasher

I think the underlying reason why I hadn’t insisted on my kids doing this before now is that I remember the HORROR of dishwasher emptying from my childhood. Wow…both my kids and I are spoiled. It was the worst chore of all.  One that I would put-off, prolong and avoid.  The funny thing is that in the last 35 years at some point it became just something to do.  I fill and empty without even thinking about it. Like the laundry chore, I started with a dishwasher tutorial and then realized how ridiculous that was.  They knew where EVERYTHING went.  They had watched me fill/empty/start the dishwasher likely a million times.  The tutorial was cut short and I let them loose. There was a lot of clanking, door opening/shutting, and flatware jingling, but in less than 3 minutes it was done. Yep, it was done. One of the modern conveniences I use for both laundry and the dishwasher that make it easier for the kids is that the soap is in pods  {affiliate link}.  It is a bit more expensive, but I have found the convenience and decreased mess worth the cost.  The boys’ cleanliness in measuring with a scoop is not very skillful, so the pods really help us to keep the soap where it should be. The bottom line on what I learned today is that they know WAY more about what to do then I give them credit.  They have been waiting on the sideline watching.  They are ready to be put into the chore game…despite the bit of grumbling.

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  1. As a teacher of ten years to primary aged children I was in shock at how few children knew how to clean their tables, that they work at. So off I went and taught them. They had a good system and a sense of pride in their classroom. I was even more shock when a mother stated she didn’t want her child ‘cleaning’. Ummm children in japan do, you do at home. I then went on to explain the left brain right brain development of swishing a wash cloth in front of them and ….let’s say she backed down quickly.

    My children are 5 and twin 3 year olds. Mir they want a sandwhich, they get the stuff out. Plate and knife included. They regularly washed dishes by hand before I got the dishwasher. They put their clothes in the dirty laundry hamper. Put their own toys away, set the table for dinner. I even taught my three year old to fold face wash cloths. It was fun to do together.

    What I am getting at is, it seems easier to do it your self now but you will be doing it yourself until they move out of home. Think of the future and if it is expected ….then it is done

  2. Oh, is he cute! I have a similar pic with my puppy getting into the act but not nearly as adorable as this one. Had to pin it! 🙂

  3. Amen sister. I realized I’ve spoiled my now 4 year old by not having her do more chores, and your post gives me hope. The baby didn’t get spoiled, she has been helping with all the chores since she could crawl and enjoys them and the routine, if I get stuck on the phone she starts without me and at onky 18 months old, but the 4 year old is visually and spacially challenged so, I didn’t want to get her more stressed by these challenging tasks, for her it would be more like torture. Now that we got her the proper help, my goal is to onboard her on the chore train. However, these tasks are still a physical challenge for her, like she has seen me empty twice as long as the baby, but still doesn’t know where half the stuff is in the kitchen because she has no tracking ability. She had been too smart to make it a game when she was tinier, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it. I want her to do it for the pleasure of having the ability to contribute to the household. I also don’t want to take away too much from her playtime, so maybe I’d save it for the weekend when there is more time. I don’t want to do it for allowance or tokens… How did you do it? How did you get them to do it and cooperate? Tips would be appreciated as I try and follow suit with the difficult 4.

    1. Irene,

      One of the things I have found that has worked for me is to give the kids undivided attention when they are doing chores. I know that sounds like it wouldn’t make a difference, but it has in my house. They see that when they are working, I am working alongside them and having fun with it. It is something that we can do together.

  4. Kudos to you! Teaching kids basic life skills such as washing dishes and doing laundry is so important! Too many parents don’t take the extra effort up front to do so. It’s a shame, too, because once kids start helping out at home, it takes some of the burden off the parents. More importantly, the kids feel needed and proud of their accomplishments. Plus, when it’s time for them to leave home, they really will be ready to go.
    I still have a lot of writing to do, but I started a life skills curriculum website to help parents know when and how to teach their kids such basics. I hope you have a chance to check it out and maybe find it useful.

  5. I have similar goals this year! (Mine are a bit younger… but not as young as shown in the dishwasher photo!)

    1. Isn’t he precious??? It is taking a bit more time than I expected to follow through with these things so far, but hopefully it will be worth it in the end and give ME a break :).