Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Laundry Helpers

If there is anything throughout my illustrious career as a mother so far that I've done right, it's encouraging a helpful attitude in my children. They all love to help and they each do a great job for their age level. There is nothing more precious then seeing the pride they take in a job well-done. And I make sure I always pour on the praise for their efforts.

I know it will get harder to have them be willing helpers as they get older, so Eric and I have always made it a point to begin the process of encouraging their help as early as possible. As soon as the kids were all old enough to walk, we started with having them throw their diapers away. From that small accomplishment, it was easier to move on to bigger projects.

I will admit that sometimes I use this helpful attitude to my advantage. The way I see it, if I can teach one of my child all of the ins and outs of a chore I really don't enjoy, I'll some day be able to pass that chore on to them. And, said child will view this chore as a treat because they have taken pride in it from the beginning.

My least favorite chore is folding and putting away laundry. Fortunately, my youngest three children all love to help with this. And even Isabelle doesn't mind it at times, especially when folding her own clothes.

Alex and Olivia like to spread the clothes out and have me tell them how to fold each item properly. They are really learning to fold correctly and they get so excited when they fold an item on their own without any help. Gracie's laundry task is to sort the clothes into piles. She tells me who belongs with each piece of clothing as she takes it out of the laundry basket and once it's folded, she puts in the proper pile.

Over the past few weeks, I've seen Olivia really getting into this chore. (Which is super exciting for me!) Both Eric and I are making sure she gets adequate praise for her work, praise which includes the above picture as well as this post. I know that her work doesn't yield the same results as what I would do, but that's okay. There are little sacrifices I'm willing to make. Just knowing that some day I'll be able to pass this chore on to my little helper definitely works for me.

What chores have you, or will you, pass on to your children? How do you take advantage of the helpful attitudes during the younger years?

Stop by Rocks In My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday.


Under the Florida Sun 10:37 PM  

Too sweet :-)
When my girls were growing up, they would help me with laundry. My DH would start complain when putting clothes away that they were folded badly. But once I said I let the girls help.. all was well :-)

Elizabeth 11:35 PM  

That's great! Zack helps me with rinising the dishes I wash and putting them in the rack to dry. I think I'm going to start having him help me with laundry too! Great idea.

Blue Castle 11:47 PM  

Very good idea. :) My boys fold the laundry too, but we're still working on the proper folding technique. It's so much easier to just scrunch it. :)

It Feels Like Chaos 12:03 AM  

Mine love to help unload the dishwasher. They can do all the low cabinets and drawers by themselves and they stack the high-up stuff on the counter for me to put away later. One day, however, I found my toddler rapidly unloading dirty silverware into the drawer!

Kim@ForeverWherever 12:14 AM  

I wash the clothes and my two boys fold! I've had to learn to accept how they fold things and the way the towel closet looks! :-)

Anonymous,  1:28 AM  

My kids are 13 and almost 11. I basically wrote down all the chores I hated doing and divided them in half. 1/2 for him, 1/2 for her :-) But my kids are a bit older.

whimsy 6:42 AM  

My oldest two are almost 16 now. Letting them help has paid off in SPADES. Not only can they do any job in our home as well as I can, they will be ready to run their own homes (better than I), they are a wonderful blessing to the sick or elderly. They are in high demand among new mothers.
They make good money as mother's helpers. They make a premium wage because they can babysit AND have supper on the table when the mom gets home from her tasks.

Leanne 6:56 AM  

Laundry is my daughter's favourite chore, she's been loading and unloading the machine all morning. We even have a little drying rack so that she can hang all the socks up by herself.

Kristi 8:51 AM  

This came up yesterday after school. I had been doing laundry all dya and when the boys (6 and 4) came home from school, they saw the piles and knew that they needed to put their own underwear away. It's a start in the right direction.

Then, when I told Noah that the living room needed to be vacuumed, he piped right up saying that it was HIS chore, which is what he decided over Christmas break when he saw me doing it. When the babysitter walked in, he told her that he needed to vacuum because it was his chore. He does a great job including wrapping the cord back up when he's done.

The only thing I can't get them to do is clean their OWN rooms. I think that's universal though.

Nikki 8:58 AM  

I especially love the part about teaching them how to do it so you can pass the chore on to them. *click* My kids love to help too. And lately I've been too annoyed with their "help" to want it. But I will view it now as a specific teaching moment that one day they will be able to do the laundry entirely on their own if I teach it right. Thanks so much! And darling girl by the way!

Kim @ Up North Mommy 9:05 AM  

My 6 year old likes to pick up the toys off the living room floor. I make sure to give him lots of praise for doing that.

Great post. Mine is up, too.

Jen @ Mommay's Mayhem 9:20 AM  

My 2yo loves to help me with the laundry...I'll let him switch things from the washer to the dryer. My 8yo now does his own laundry (woo hoo!) and I will help fold it but he puts it away. The kids will also help put the dishes away from the dishwasher.

Sherry 11:30 AM  

When mine were younger they set the table, took their dishes to the sink, helped fold, too.

Sarahlcc 12:33 PM  

This is so true! There are so many things the little ones can do on their level that pay us back in dividends of clean later on!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

The Frugal Angel-Guided Psychic 2:39 PM  

So much fun! We started these little projects when our kids were young too. They take such pride in doing a job well :) Creates such a nice, respectful way.

Now our kids are older and they sweep, vac., wash dishes, and pick up each night after supper.

Helps each of us and it all goes rather quickly!

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings 11:09 PM  

My 2 1/2-year old loves to help me fold the laundry. It doesn't always turn out that great, but I still let her do it. She also loves to use our Swivel Sweeper broom vacuum. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to pick up toys, but we encourage it. My 1-year old just recently decided he likes to help open the door to the laundry machine and my toddler then helps me transfer it. I wonder how long the eagerness to help really does last?

Anonymous,  6:48 PM  

It takes longer and doesn't always look so great, but their sense of pride is so worth it! And it pays offer later, when their older because chores are just something they've always done!

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