Everyone knows its not an easy task to get toddlers to clean up after themselves. At the earlier stage of toddlerhood they might comply because they think its fun, but once they get to the age where they can articulate themselves and have figured out that there are more fun things to do than cleaning up (o2r maybe that even if they don’t do it, someone else will), they can come up with the most annoying excuses, such as “Cleaning up is boring”!
Pint-sized cleaning apparatus from ELC and Daiso? Check. Withholding treat to get them to clean up? Check. Trying to make cleaning up fun by making it into a competition or something? Check. Chore chart? As we Hokkeins say, tan gu gu. It just takes forever to get them to clean up, and I’d be lucky if they don’t create more of a mess in the meantime. Is it because they’re boys? Or do I just have lazy boys?
I’m also conscious of the boys being too reliant on the helper, so I try to make them to pitch in whenever possible, even if many times it’s what we call, 也帮也忙. It’s interesting that by age 3 they already realise that they can do less when there’s kaka to help them, although it’s heartening to see them helping out whenever there isn’t a kaka around.
If you’re looking for some resources on getting toddlers involved in chores, here’s a blog post on 5 Ways to Get Your Child Excited about Chores by Confessions of a Homeschooler, with a few downloadable resources on the page.
What are some of your tips for getting kids to help out?