How do you make a toddler want to help around the house? Make it fun, and give them a ton of stickers!
A few months ago I had a fabulous friend and personal organizer come and help me organize. One of my favortie suggestions that she made was to move all of Annabelles dishes somewhere she could reach them. That way she could get her stuff on her own, set her table and put all her dishes away. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?
Well I ran with that idea and it’s been great to have a little helper around the house. Since she’s not wearing diapers anymore We rearranged her changing table which has great drawers on it so she can get to the drawers with her undies and socks and her pjs. She gets to open up the drawers, choose what she wants and even better, she puts her laundry away. I even moved all of her hanging clothes to a low rack in her closet so she can go in a pick what she wants to wear.
Since she puts all her own dishes away now the cabinet is not as neat as the day it was created but she’s a two year old. I think it’s pretty cool that these chores are teaching her responsibility at an early age, it doesn’t really bother me that it’s a little messy in there. She’s done such a good job that she’s now been promoted to utensil organizer. I give her the utensil thingie and after I’ve removed any sharp knives she puts all the rest of it away. She also puts away things that go in low drawers, like mixing bowls and colanders and the cheese graters. She’s taken everything out of all my cabinets so many times that she knows exactly where everything goes.
From my years as a PK teacher I picked up that little kids like rules and love chores. We now have a sticker reward chart where we reinforce positive behavior with a sticker (from chores and following all her mealtime rules which includes having one bite of everything on her plate). I don’t do negative reinforcement: she doesn’t get sad or red faces when she didn’t stick with the rules. I always give her a sticker for following mealtime rules, we’re still battling those since at times she still refuses to take a bite of everything and sometimes I tell her I’ll give her a sticker for taking a nap and other times I just give her a sticker if she does something amazing. 5 stickers and she gets to watch one T.V show that she can pick. That usually end up being every other or every third day. That’s the beauty of waiting until she was 2 to let her watch TV and then not doing it very often. It’s a fun reward for her.
I’m always up for finding ways to let her be more independent and good, free, rewards are sometimes hard to come up with. I’m sure Annabelle would love to pull out the paint for a reward but that might make me a little crazy. What chores do your kids do and how do you reward them for good behavior? Does anyone else have rules posted in their house? What are they for and how is it working?