How to Teach to Help with Laundry
Involving your family, especially your kids, in helping around the house while everyone’s still home is a win-win. They learn valuable life skills, and you get help with the work.
But there are many more reasons to teach your kids to help with chores like laundry.
Why Teach Them?
The task of doing laundry is part of being alive. We wear clothes, they get dirty, they need to be cleaned. Simple, right? And yet it’s much more than that.
Think about it - your kids are learning:
Part of our job as parents is to prepare our children to take care of themselves and be able to function within, and contribute to, society. Ability, self-confidence, and respect are necessary for that to happen.
If you have young children, it’s always safety first!
Here are some tips:
- Be there to supervise.
- Keep laundry products in their original, sealable containers.
- Store laundry products safely out of reach of innocent hands, behind child-proof doors, and up high if possible.
- Be sure they know not to climb inside appliances, ever.
- Use natural products whenever possible.
How to Teach Them
Assign tasks by age and ability. Even very young children can help according to their stage of physical and mental development. Some tasks for them might include:
- Putting their laundry into the hamper.
- Sorting by color.
- Handing you clothing items for the wash load.
- Finding sock matches.
- Folding kitchen towels.
And more, all the way up to running a full laundry cycle by themselves, one step at a time. You get the idea.
What to Expect
Don’t expect perfection from your little ones. Their motor skills will improve over time, and you don’t want to discourage them by setting a standard they can’t possibly reach at any given stage of their development.
Help them learn patience by being patient as you show them how to perform a task, and then let them try it themselves. Good enough is good enough in this case! Praise little ones highly, and they will want to do it again and keep learning.
It’s highly likely that no one will do the laundry exactly the way you do, at any age, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Allow them to do it their way and be thankful for the help.
Oh, and it’s not too late to teach your teens how to do laundry! Right now is a perfect time while they’re around more. When they do go back to school, off to college, or somewhere else, they will have added valuable life skills to their personal repertoire.
Your teen son may not thank you for it now, but he – and his future wife! – will one day. Either way, doing laundry is a life skill for everyone to learn.