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Toddler Chores

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I think kids should help out and have regular chores, but I’ve been unsure how to start this and when, in regards to Baby G’s age. It’s hard still because obviously he doesn’t always do what I want, how I want it. He has, however, sort of fallen into a couple of “chores” by virtue of wanting to mimic mommy and daddy. Of course, we don’t force him to do these chores, but he helps out when he’s encouraged to do so.

We use lots and lots of positive reinforcement when he “helps” and if he does it wrong, I don’t get upset. We’ve been practicing “10 seconds, your turn, 10 seconds, my turn” a lot and I’ve started to use this with chores so I can actually make progress. For example, he’ll get to use the vacuuming for the count of ten, then it’s “Mommy’s turn!” and I count to ten (a little slower, haha) for my turn. Then “Your turn!” He melts down if I don’t count- MELTS DOWN. Do not take the vacuum from this kid. We’re still working on putting it away after we’re done… usually I try to distract him with something else then run to shove it in the closet quick, but the second he hears the wheels turning on the floor he RUNS into the room. Can’t trick this kid!

Watering the Flowers!
He’s not very good at spraying it right, but I just move the tray to wherever he happens to be spraying. It makes him very happy to “help.”

Vacuuming!
Not sure what it is about the vacuum, but he loves it. We don’t let him plug or unplug it, I stand by him to help or to clean up things I don’t want him to suck up. I make sure gates are closed so he doesn’t try to bring it up/down a flight of stairs. This is a highly supervised activity, for obvious safety reasons.
He also likes the small hand vac. Haha.
Feeding the Dogs!
I scoop the food from the bag, then give him the cup to empty into their bowls. My dogs are garbage disposals, they’ll pick up whatever food doesn’t land in their bowl. We do have to watch Baby G pretty carefully and quickly redirect him after he pours the food in the bowl because otherwise he’ll eat some himself, haha. Who doesn’t love dog kibble? 

Laundry!
He really likes to help out with laundry. I hand him things from the washer to put in the dryer. He sometimes gets distracted by the lint trap. We cloth diaper so there’s a LOT of laundry to practice with. I just have to be careful he doesn’t add anything “extra” to the dryer. The other day he grabbed a dirty diaper from the wet bag and put it in the dryer- glad I caught that!

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