Your 6-year-old now
Your child will feel proud and useful when you give her jobs to do. Doing chores raises self-esteem and helps a child to feel part of the family "team."
Best are small, simple responsibilities with just a few steps. For example, picking up the floor of her room, filling a pet's water bowl, weeding, and cleaning mirrors. Some chore helpers:
- Consider a simple chart to remind your child of duties and perhaps let her place a gold star or check mark each day she does them.
- Schedule chores for the same time every day or week. It's easier to develop a cleanup habit if you know something must be done every morning before school, or on Saturdays.
- Demonstrate what you expect. Show where supplies are kept, how to wipe the mirror, and exactly what you mean by a "clean" room.
- Try to get child-size brooms, rakes, or gloves where appropriate.
- Check the work the first few times to ensure she's doing it right. Be patient if it's done but isn't up to your standards. If you redo a rumpled "made" bed with hospital corners, you send a discouraging message rather than an encouraging one.>
- Keep it fun. Kids love working with parents, so team up for some chores. Sing cleaning songs or race to see who gets done first.
Your life now
You'll never learn much if you ask your child, "How was school today?" Instead, probe about specifics: "Who did you sit next to at lunch today?" "What was your favorite thing the teacher showed you today?" "Did you finish making maps today?"
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