Earning his keep

As long as I can think back, I always had a chore growing up. Dusting, vacuuming, helping with laundry, dishes. There was also a chore that needed to be done. {Cleaning my room? Don’t ask about that one.} Since I had to do chores as a child, I thought it was only fair that Ethan has to do them as well. He’s 4 now and I think that’s an appropriate age to start chores and to teach responsibility.

Luckily, the child is a freak like his father and actually enjoys cleaning! Who does that? Instead of sending him off for scientific testing, I thought it better to put his enthusiasm to dust to good work.

Before we got down to business, we had to set up his chores. Since he is obsessed with the iPad, we downloaded the Chore Pad app. Best idea ever!

ethan chores Earning His Keep

Ethan picked out the picture he wanted to use and then we talked about some “jobs” he could do around the house. He even decided that everyone needed a chart!

everyone chores Earning His Keep

And, if I’m being honest, I love using it for myself. It has really been helping stay on top of things around the house.

my chores Earning His Keep

So what jobs did we come up with?

10 Chores for Preschoolers

1. Keep Room Clean/Pick up Toys. Well, that’s one thing he got from me! Just last week, we had to have another talk about keeping our room clean and how we put things away after we use them. We’ll see how long that lasts.

2. Help with Dishwasher. Ethan loves to help load the dishwasher {minus sharp utensils and heavy serving pieces}. He also puts away all the silverware {minus knives} when the dishwasher is done. He has even showed Ben how to put their silverware away in their special drawer.

3. Feed fish and frog. You want the pet, you help take care of it! The same rule would apply if we had a cat, dog, snake, gerbil, etc.

4. Dust/Wash Surfaces. Ethan has been helping me dust for a while now. At a young age, he liked to have his own rag and dust away. Now that he’s a little bit older, he has more surfaces he’s responsible for. Wouldn’t you know it, just recently, Ben started wanted to wipe tables. Before I know it, they will be doing everything for me!

5. Vacuum/Mop. This is more recent job that Ethan added for himself! He wanted to try out the vacuum and enjoyed pushing it around the living room. Same goes for mopping the kitchen floor. He loves to spray the cleaner on the floor and make it disappear.

6. Help out on trash days. On trash days, Ethan’s job is to go around to the bathrooms and empty the small trash cans. He also helps the hubster take the light bags out to the curb.

7. Set and clear the table. Ethan helps set the table every night for dinner. After every meal, he takes his dirty plate, utensils, and cup to the sink to be washed. I don’t even have to remind him to do that anymore!

8. Help with laundry. Ethan likes to help sort the clothes and load them into the washer and dryer. I started to show him how to match up socks and will move on to folding soon.

9. Scrub the toilets. He came up with this one on his own! What can I say the kid loves to scrub toilets and that makes me a very happy mom.

10. Be a good listener and a big helper. This one is something we expect out of Ethan but being 4 makes it hard to remember this one some times. Whenever, we catch him being good or helping out without us asking, we make sure to give him a ton of positive reinforcement. By doing so, we hope that it just becomes second nature for him to want to help out and to be a good listener.

So far it’s working out well! His reward? If he completes his chores for the week, he gets a $1. Too little? For now, it keeps him happy. He just likes to add money to his piggy bank.

Stephanie Glover is a Collegeville, PA mom of two. This post was adopted from her blog, A Grande Life.

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