Helping out around the house has many benefits for kids: it is an important way for them to learn long term life skills, take on adult responsibilities, understand empathy and gender equality, and contribute to the household.
Research shows that developing a work ethic in kids at a young age improves their chances of success later on: in educational and career goals as well as in maintaining good social relationships.
Now more than ever, all of us could do with an extra pair of hands to deal with household chores. The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that we’re all in this together. What better time to encourage children to help out around the house!
Here’s how to get started:
1. Explain the task to them: Children make messes and need to be given instructions on how to do things. This is why most of us hesitate to give children responsibilities in the kitchen simply because it slows us down. But, once kids are told why and how things need to be done before they get started, they will be ready to help with household chores. Why a pot used to cook rice must be soaked before scrubbing or why non-stick pans must be washed gently. Take the time to give children a tutorial on how various items must be washed, and you will ensure you have clean dishes every time.
2. Make the chores age-appropriate: If your child is too young, let them only wash their own plates and bowls. Older children can take charge of non-breakable utensils and larger pots and pans, leaving only the knives and breakables for you. If you’re worried about exposing your child to the harsh and harmful chemicals in conventional dishwashing soaps and liquids, then The Better Home dishwashing liquid is for you. It contains plant-based ingredients that are safe for your children, your cookware and the environment.
3. Split up the tasks: If you have many dirty dishes, divide the task of washing by creating an assembly line. Put one child in charge of emptying the dishes and scraping off excess food while another washes the smaller vessels. This lessens the load that you will have to tackle. You could also establish a weekly schedule so that your kids take turns doing the dishes on alternate days and get the rest of the days off.
4. Let the little things slide: Sometimes it’s ok if they splash water all over the kitchen counter or leave a few bits of food stuck on the dishes. It’s important not to chide them for it if you want them to feel good about their work and continue helping out. You will feel happy that you did not have to take care of the full load yourself.
5. Praise their effort: Your child has just made a meaningful and valuable contribution to the family. Appreciate them and thank them for their efforts so they know they had a positive impact. This makes them more likely to pitch in next time around and have a favourable attitude towards their work.
6. Make it fun: Play some music in the background, encourage kids to tell you stories as they complete their chores or listen to an audiobook together. Doing these activities alongside mundane household work can make the task seem lighter and more fun. This can also be a great way to bond with the kids.
7. Make the most of the opportunity: The time spent washing dishes or other housework presents many chances to discuss valuable life lessons with children such as the importance of using water wisely, how to minimise food waste or how to correctly segregate waste and compost it.
The Better Home Dishwashing Liquid is made of naturally-derived ingredients. It is safe and gentle on children’s hands while being effective on grease, without leaving any residue on dishes or in the sink.