Since our kids were very young, we made them clean up their own toys after they were done playing. And, within the last year or so, we’ve made them bring us their empty plates after a meal and also make their own beds (although that usually requires me going back and re-making them because I can’t stand a messy made bed…) and put away their own clean laundry.
Now that our son is 6 1/2, though, we’ve decided to give him some chores that he is responsible for doing each day that go beyond his own room or his own stuff. The first one of these is loading the dishwasher each night after dinner. We’ll usually rinse the plates off for him (since he’s still a little short of being able to reach the sink) and then hand them to him and he’s responsible for placing them in the dishwasher.
Here’s the funny thing. He loves having this job. Loading the dishwasher is apparently pretty darn exciting when you are 6 1/2. Who knew?
On a related note, I think First Grade schoolwork is pretty much the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. The other day, I found this sheet sitting around in the kitchen. I love that he wrote about his dishwasher-loading responsibilities and am such a fan of his little shrunken-head picture of himself doing his thing. I also love that the job he is going to do to help us out more is to clean the house when guests come over. (Now, two points of clarification. First, I swear that we clean our house even when guests are not coming over. Second, the use of the singular “guest” may imply that we only know one person and that one person is the only person who has come over to visit. That is not true. There have been plural guests. We are not that unpopular.)
I am absolutely in love with the “BING” and rays of clean sunshine emanating from the house. Cutest thing ever.