My 3-year-old's desire to lend a hand was hard to resist, but I cringed each time she asked to help with household chores. Images flashed in my mind of my daughter emptying cabinets in an attempt to reorganize!
Although my idea of "help" included her taking a nap, I soon discovered ways in which my toddler and I could work together. I found that while I did laundry, my daughter could help sort the clothes by color. While I made the beds, she could arrange the pillows and stuffed animals. While I scrubbed the tub, she could wipe the baseboards with a wet cloth (using water, not cleaner).
Patches of dust inevitably lingered on the baseboards after my daughter cleaned them, and it often took more time to complete a task with her help. But as I lowered my standards to focus on my daughter rather than on a spotless house, I discovered that working together made household tasks enjoyable.
This article appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Esther Feng.
Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.