"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rambling Answer to Jessica's Chore Question

Brendan is seven. Theresa is five. Theresa decided to start doing the dishes on her own a couple of months ago. This made me aware that her brother was more than capable of this job.

Friends refer to Theresa as my independent child. She really enjoys cleaning. However, the thought of using the big vacuum had, understandably, overwhelmed her.

The yellow vacuum is one that we purchased at Costco eight years ago at the recommendation of my mom. She told me that it was perfect for little children to use. The Amazon picture does not show it, but the handle actually goes down, making the vacuum the perfect height for a 5 year old. Actually, my three year old (average height of a four or five year old) enjoys using this vacuum, too. He also likes using the hose and carpet attachment on our regular vacuum to do the stairs. He is very upset that I have not assigned him any chores, so I am trying to figure out what I can have him do. I have had him help me make cupcakes and bread in lieu of chores, recently.

I am somewhat lax about broken plates and glasses (other than making sure children do not get cut). I see broken dishes as part of learning to use them. That said, we have never had any dishes broken when they are being washed. You might ask your son to start by washing his plate and utensils plus a younger siblings plate and utensils. If he wants to do more, let him.

Thanks to my mom, I tend to lean towards a Montessori type philosophy when teaching my children to do things around the house. When the child shows an interest, I teach them how to do it.


  1. Thanks Christine!!

    This morning I taught my oldest to wash dishes, and my 6 year old to vaccuum! They are so much more capable than I realized. I have a tendency to want to do things myself, and really need to start training my kids to help. It has gotten to be more than I can keep up with. I love that your vacuum can be adjusted to have a shorter handle--How neat is that?! Anyways, thanks again! :)

  2. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Thanks for the tips! I am like Jessica, I tend to just do things myself. I have finally learned that my 2 1/2 yr old won't give up on helping unload the dishes, so I let her do the silverware and platics(no knives of coarse) My 9 year old loves to dust and vacuum, I just have to remember to let him do it!

    Thanks for the post!


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