Determining when your child is ready to help around the house and what he or she should be helping with is no easy task. Suddenly, you’ll start wondering aloud, wait, when did I start helping around the house as a child? Was I cooking and cleaning at five? Of course, you’ll eventually remember that you weren’t baby Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart, and you’ll realize that you need to decide on age-appropriate chores for your child.
To keep things simple, focus less on the specific chore you’re considering and more on what a child can handle and should be learning at a particular age. For example, instead of trying to determine whether your child can realistically mop the floor, think about whether that task would benefit him or her. Ideally, it should be a task that is both feasible and something your child can learn from.
Still stuck? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are some ideas for age-appropriate chores:
Children tend to absorb everything around them. As much as you may think your baby or toddler isn’t paying attention, he or she is likely absorbing any background activity or noise. That’s why it’s so important to be conscientious about how much and what kinds of media your child consumes at each stage of development, regardless of whether done actively, such as watching a movie on TV, or passively, such as playing the radio. The programming you select, including any adult media, can influence your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that TV and other media should be avoided for children age 2 or younger. Instead, the AAP emphasizes that children should learn from play and from human — not screen — interaction.
It’s therefore important for parents to determine how to regulate, limit, or monitor the media impact on children. Here are some tips:
It’s not unusual for babies and toddlers to learn gross (larger movements) motor skills – such as rolling over, sitting and walking – more quickly than fine motor skills. Precise hand, finger and wrist movements, as well as grasping objects and picking them up with pinched fingers, are tasks that toddlers need to practice and perfect over time, and in different ways than their gross motor skill counterparts.
There is a lot you can do in any given day of play, however, to help fine-tune these fine motor skills. Following are some activities to consider integrating into your toddler time:
Teens aren’t the only ones immersed in technology at home. Parents are guilty of it, too. Whether you’re checking your work email from your phone or putting in extra hours on a project while at home, these actions may cause your child to feel neglected, sad or frustrated, according to Harvard Clinical and Consulting Psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of the book, “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.”
It is never too early to start teaching good manners to youngsters. If children have a solid foundation from the beginning, they’ll consider manners as normal behavior, notes Donna Jones, author of Taming Your Family Zoo: Six Weeks to Raising a Well-Mannered Child.
When it comes to teaching manners to toddlers, follow these three c’s: consistency, caring, confidence.