Chores, How young is too young?

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I am CONSTANTLY fighting with my two year old about cleaning his room. This is the one chore he will fight me to the death on. He ALWAYS wins. Why? Because he’s a little shit, and I am weak. His favorite game is to pull out every toy and book he can find and then throw them on the floor or in the crib. When I ask him to put the books away, he usually responds with, “No, how ‘bout you do it, Mommy.”

WTF? How am I taking orders from a two year old?? I always give in because I’m tired of walking into his room, stepping on a Lego and falling face first into a bowl of two day old cereal. Every now and then, he obliges and will half-ass clean up. (I can’t really blame him on that part, I half-ass clean everything.) It makes me so proud and so happy and I really try to show him that. I just wish it would happen more often.

He LOVES to help me with laundry. He likes to take the clothes out of the washer and put them into the dryer and then take them out of the dryer and into the basket. It makes the process about 100 times longer, but what the heck, he wants to help so I let him! He also likes to help unload the dishwasher. This one is a little trickier because I have to get anything sharp and breakable away from him as soon as possible. He will pick up anything he can reach and hand it to me to put away. Again, it makes doing the dishes about 100 times longer, but it’s worth it.

Did I mention that my son is a technological genius? He can pick up any phone/tablet and navigate to YouTube and watch his “Daddy Finger” videos. He can also get to any game and figure out how to play it within minutes. If my son can pick up an electronic that I’ve had for years, (and haven’t figured out how to use) and learn to use it in 5 minutes or less, he can clean his damn room. A few months after turning two, my sweet little boy turned into a bossy terrible two year old. I think I let him get away with too much. No more, it stops here.

When he wakes up from his nap, he is marching straight into his room and picking up all of his toys. Then he will grab a mop and get to work in the kitchen. No more free rides around here. He is two years old. He needs to learn that life is hard. It’s time learn that there are no freebies in life. You want that PAW Patrol yogurt for a snack, get to cleanin’ son. I’m not entirely sure what other cleaning I can have him do. But this has to teach him some responsibility right?

What types of chores do your children do and at what ages did they start? Is two too young? Am I going to be turned in for being a child slave laborer?

Thank you for reading! Please follow my blog, like and share! @ Super Sirrious Mom

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31 comments on “Chores, How young is too young?

  1. lindasnyder says:

    As far as I’m concerned, two years old is far too young to insist on a child cleaning his room. I’m a 60 year old grandmother and social worker, and am of the opinion that as long as there’s no food left in the room, and the toys aren’t strewn throughout the rest of the house, they can do what they want in their own bedroom. I just shut the door and didn’t worry about it.

    My daughter graduated Skidmore in 3 years, with honors. Clearly she is a smart girl, and I don’t think that fighting with her about her room would have made our lives any better – although it did get seriously messy in there at times.

  2. mudpilewood says:

    I agree with Linda, I never insisted on them tidying their rooms, rather we had tidy up time where the purpose of the game was to tidy everything into one giant box, and the reward was to sit (all of us) and watch their favourite tv show. Compromise works, as does reward for good behaviour.

  3. Shannon Crattie says:

    My boys have always been expected to clean their own rooms, sometimes with help from me. I let them organize things in whatever way they find comfortable. We want them to care for their living space & belongings, and have always felt that their space is a good tool to utilize. That being said, you have to pick your battles. I turned picking up into a game when my boys were young, and it worked out fantastically. Also, rewarding at this stage of development might be beneficial. Of course, there should be a consequence for not following through. Keep in mind he is two, so tasks that are quick and easy will likely be more successful.

  4. Thank you for sharing! I really appreciate it! For anyone who is worried about this post, my two year has never actually cleaned his room…… He’s two.. I do encourage him to pick up his toys from around the house and put them where they go. I do believe that he needs to learn to be helpful though. Thank you for reading!

  5. timewithlyme says:

    Two is too young….3 and 4 are perfect ages for cleaning things with your guidance. When you are there, your two year old can definitely follow your directions to put toys away. How about taking some of the toys out that are more of a pain to clean so there are less choices to play with?

    • Great advice! This post was definitely more for the humorous purposes of a toddlers messy room, but everyone has great advice!

      • timewithlyme says:

        It’s not easy being a Mom…I know…but it does get easier as the child grows……my daughter is now 10…and I wish we could go back to 2,3, and 4!!! Enjoy the all moments….even the messy ones!! It goes by super fast.

  6. Ask for twice, expect a half, and see a quarter delivered. And, if you give them a drink, they will spill it but, if they don’t it is a bonus! Oh, and make it a game.

  7. When my children were growing up, I had 2 rules: Graduate high school and don’t get knocked up until after you graduate. That was it! If they had a messy room, so what, it was their space, they had to learn how to cope with it. If they left dishes in their room, so what, then we didn’t have glasses to drink from or plates to serve on.
    Now that my children are adults, they have extraordinary clean houses, and argue with their own kids about cleaning their room.

    My point is, choose your battles. If your kid likes doing laundry, then show him all the basics, of how to do it properly, which means folding and/or hanging up the clean laundry. Small victory in a long long war of cleaning. Eventually, he will get that having a clean floor is paramount.

    be consistent, don’t give up the efforts on teaching him how to clean. I taught my grandson the importance of dance while cleaning. It helps.

  8. Leeann says:

    Mine is 20 months I clean up the toys at the end of the day while singing clean up. He helps by picking up a few items and putting them in the same container as mom. I cheer when he does and say thank you. When he’s three or four I will expect for him to pick up items upon direction from me. 7 or 8 is when I feel telling him to pick up the toys in his room will be good enough for him to comply.

  9. Haha! I love this! Reading your post reminds me so much of my little guy who is 21 months old and will be turning 2 soon. He definitely makes a mess, but also loves helping. I got him a little toy broom and dust pan and whenever I am cleaning, he runs for it and tries to help. I think that starting young is nice. I’ve learned that allowing him to help on his own time makes things go more smoothly and easily. I guess they can’t be obligated to keep things in order this young. However, like your little guy, mine can operate an ipad/iphone like no other! It’s so impressive to watch! I would just say, have fun watching him grow and don’t stress too hard on him learning the importance of cleaning insanely this young. I think they’ll grasp it in a few more years. 🙂

  10. Michelle says:

    I love that your posts try to find the humor in the day to day life of raising little ones. I’m hoping the folks that read your posts understand this is a fun way to vent/share. I could tell from your first post you were going to be a hoot to follow. Of course we know you aren’t making your 2 year old clean his room. Please keep the stories coming. I wish folks could unwind and laugh a bit instead of being quick to judge. I also wish when mine were growing up I had a venue like this to visit. Keep it real Sista! Parenting is messy and everyone has an opinion. You are making it fun to re-live.

  11. sjordan425 says:

    My life is children 0 to 5 years old. I am in early childhood education and early intervention. I believe the chores should match the child’s developmental level. I believe it should be fun to clean up. Sing the clean up songs together while you help them pick up. The rewards of cleaning up are to be able to go outside or go onto the next activity or lunch…What ever is coming next in your schedule. I believe children of all ages, should be taught to pick up their toy and put it away. I don’t believe you should enter a battle though. Children of all ages can help in the laundry, (they may make more of a mess but you are spending quality time with them). Any time spent with your child is the best present of all. You are doing a great job supersirriousmom – keep the laughs coming!

  12. Terry says:

    I so feel your pain. And understand the frustration! Kids in their terrible twos… Always wanting to be the helper until you really hope they will do something you need. Then the little devil comes out. Thank you for you refreshing and humorous view of life with 2 under3 years old. Keep up the good work I look forward to each and every new blog.

  13. Jon says:

    Great post! Kids should learn how to complete simple chores when they are 3-4 years old.

  14. Montaffera says:

    They’re just freeloaders, these pesky small humans. I have a 3 and 6 year old and live in chaos 😜

    My boys have to tidy up the playroom every evening after dinner and before homework. Daddy helps, using a 5 min timer and a mad dash if they’re very reluctant.

    Then it’s homework for Eldest with Daddy, and something educational with mummy for youngest. Then 20 mins free play with daddy for both boys as a reward.

    If the bedrooms have stuff all over the floor when we go up for bathtime, the boys put it all away together quickly.

    We loosely categorise the toys by clear plastic box with a lid, for easy clean up and shifting. “Only two boxes emptied at one time, put one away before you start a third” rule. I rotate the boxes that are available.

    It works OK, took a bit of bedding in with Eldest, then he taught Youngest! 😉

    Just started getting the boys involved in a thorough hoover/declutter of one room a weekend. They love the vacuum and getting their wee hands under furniture to grab stuff for me. Or pointing the crevice tool and sucking the bigger stuff towards them 😂 we are not houseproud here, they do realise mum and dad would much rather be doing something (annnything) else, and we get grumpy if we have a lot to clean. So they help us out. x

  15. Montaffera says:

    Oh, I also got them microfibre dusters in their favourite colour 😂

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