Back when we were deciding where to send our boys to pre-school I spent a considerable amount of time researching the several in our area – a stark contrast to how I chose their paediatrician. I chose the paediatrician based on geographical proximity. I chose the pre-school based on similar ideology. The paediatrician and I broke up years ago but I am still going steady with the pre-school. My youngest is in his final year and I am heartbroken at the thought of moving on for so many reasons but what I am going to miss most is the support they provide the parents.
At the start of the school year they distributed a list of ways that children can participate and contribute to the family and in doing so, they feel Connected, Capable and Confident (pillars of the Adlerian approach).
Moms have a tendency to play the martyr (guilty!) and the busyness of the holidays just adds to already overwhelming to-do lists. Don’t forget to include the little people of your family! They can make a meaningful contribution. “Take time for training” is what the teachers at the school recommend and remember it might not be perfect, but it will be done, leaving you more time to spend together, having fun!
Home Responsibilities for a 2 and 3 year old
1) Tidy up the toys on the floor and return to the right bins.
2) Put books/magazines on tables, shelves or racks.
3) Sweep the floor.
4) Place napkins, silverware and plates on the table.
5) Tidy up place setting after eating. Take dishes to the counter.
6) Tidy up the floor after eating a meal.
7) Make a choice between two things for breakfast. (This is empowering and encourages your child to make simple decisions.)
8) Undress and dress with a little bit of help.
9) Help to put away groceries (boxed, canned items on lower shelves), put away the grocery bags.
Home Responsibilities for a 4 year old
1) Set the table.
2) Put the groceries away.
3) Help with the grocery shopping and compiling a grocery list.
4) Follow a schedule for feeding pets.
5) Help with yard and garden work.
6) Help make the beds and vacuum.
7) Help to do the dishes or fill dishwasher.
8) Spreading butter on toast, making simple sandwiches.
9) Pouring cereal (perhaps put it in a small container so they can pour more easily) and the milk (from a smaller pitcher).
10) Help prepare the family meal – wash veggies, tear lettuce, etc.
11) Help bake simple desserts (it’s okay if there’s a spill).
12) Getting the mail.
13) Allow them to play without constant supervision.
14) Sort laundry (with help) and match the clean socks.
15) Put away own clean clothes. Put dirty clothes in hamper for washing.
Home Responsibilities for a 5 and 6 year old
1) Help with meal planning and grocery shopping (i.e. write list, retrieve items from the shelves).
2) Make own simple sandwiches and breakfast.
3) Clean up after meals.
4) Pour own beverages from the fridge.
5) Take a more active role in cooking and adding to the recipes.
6) Make own bed and clean own room.
7) Dress independently.
8) Clean the bathroom sink (with child-safe products).
9) Spray and clean mirrors and windows (at least the bottom half!)
10) Separate their own laundry on laundry day.
11) Fold clothes and put them away.
12) Answer the phone and dial when making calls to family/friends.
13) Yard work.
14) Paying for small purchases at the check out.
15) Taking out the garbage and bringing back the bins.
16) Cleaning up after pets.
Home Responsibilities for a 7 year old
1) Answer the phone and write down messages.
2) Run basic errands for parents (i.e. take something to the next door neighbour)
3) Water the lawn and shovel the snow.
4) Train pets.
5) Carry in the grocery bags.
6) Get ready for school and bed with little involvement from parent.
7) Take notes to and from the school.
8) Leave the bathroom in neat order (hang up towels, change toilet paper roll, etc.)
Home Responsibilities for 8-11 year old
1) Set the table completely and properly.
2) Mop the floor.
3) Responsible for own bathing and showering.
4) Straighten out closet and store seasonal clothing.
5) Shop for and select own clothing with the help (and money) of parents.
6) Cook for the family once a month.
7) Change sheets on the bed.
8) Operate the washing machine and dryer (measure out the detergent).
9) Help neighbours with their chores.