Our little guy is four years old. He happens to have autism and that has actually helped in how much I let him participate in daily chores. I look for opportunities to help him understand the importance of helping others.
If young children are encouraged or even just allowed to be involved, they get a great sense of satisfaction in being able to participate in helping their parents complete a task.
A 2012 study by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology shows that children are willing to help out even if they know they will not be rewarded for their kind behavior.1
So, since they seem to already be so eager to lend a hand, how do you go about teaching them how to feed and water the family pet?
1. Let them see you do it.
Some children are considered visual learners. Not only that but if they see mom and dad feeding the family dog every day, they will already know that this is a very important task and a chore that they will be proud to accomplish once given the chance.
2. Talk to them about it.
While they are watching you feed and water your pet, tell them why you are doing it. Sometimes if kids don’t understand why they are doing something, it just doesn’t make sense to them to complete it. They may be less likely to jump on board the chore train if you don’t explain the “why.”
3. Let them do it!
One of the biggest challenges for parents when teaching a young child any new skill is the patience it takes to just let them do it. We all know that we could pour out food into a cat bowl much quicker, but taking the time to include your child in this process is a crucial step in creating a daily chore.
When kids see mom and dad eagerly feeding Max or Fluffy, their willingness to want to help is already there, parents simply have to take the time to show them how.
Don’t miss this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: Stop the Mommy Wars: Every Mom Is Doing Something Right – 045!
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You’ll also like 10 Chores Your Young Kids Can (and Should) Do, This Is How to Work Hard and Still Be a Great Mom, How I Find Time for Me (Even As a Mom), Mom Sanity and Toddler Activities, and Discovering Your Child’s Talents.
Follow these three easy steps to get your child involved in caring for the family pet!