Hey friends! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! I’d love to share with you about a new focus we’ve had with our little family, specifically introducing chores and making it fun for me and the kiddos. As we’ve added more kids into our bunch I’m realizing that this mama needs help! I certainly can’t do it all. And I’ve always been a huge believer in independent babies and kiddos. Savannah is 6.5 years old and the twins are 4.5. They’re the perfect age since they have a natural drive to copy everything I do.
We visited our favorite Donut shop and while we were waiting in line I noticed the dad in front of me kept side-eyeing my OVERLY excited kids. My kids could barely contain themselves. They were literally licking the plexi-glass display full of dazzling donuts (not really, but you’d have to really be looking to see they didn’t actually lick it). The dad turned around to tell me that he honestly misses the pure joy that comes from my kid’s ages since his teenagers at home sleeping apparently weren’t as thrilled for Saturday morning donuts. My kids are all super excited 200% of the time. And the only thing that makes them even more excited is when I get involved. They LOVE to do what I do. It makes the most sense to teach them how to contribute and help with the family chores while they still love to help me out. But, it’s still a challenge to get them to focus and not want to keep wrestling the day away to help out. So I’ll share some things we’re learning work to help our kiddos help us out and make chores more fun for me as well! For instance, check out baby Avery helping her mama with laundry.
Laundry is a chore that definitely takes a village! Especially now that swim season is in full swing with mountains of towels from swimming and bath time. I like to try to make chores a bit more exciting (whether it’s with the music I pick while doing them, who I do them with, or the products I choose). Let me tell you about my latest favorite detergent for Avery so she stays baby-soft forever! Which doubles as an amazing gift idea for a new or expecting mama. Dreft, the #1 pediatrician recommended baby detergent – and the #1 dermatologist recommended for baby clothes – has introduced a new, limited-edition customizable offering, Dreft by You. It’s such a cool giftable package that I created exclusively for our baby Avery online. For $25 I chose a Dreft Newborn (you can also choose Purtouch) detergent formula to be gentle on her skin. I picked this darling elephant, cute coral color, and personalized a sweet message. The package was completed with a matching one-piece to welcome the newest little one– such a cute gift for an expecting mom!
During the last trimester, many moms will pre-wash all their baby’s clothes in preparation for their grand arrival. Once the baby comes, there will be TONS of loads of laundry that seem to pile up quickly! You can never have enough burp cloths, am I right?! I literally washed 30+ burp cloths/ week when I had my twins. So Dreft by You is a great gift for expecting and new mamas to help with that process. And another must-have-multiples-of gift idea: swaddles and small baby blankets. I can’t even count the times I went through multiple swaddles and blankets in one night from babies with tummy troubles. Dreft’s new, limited edition giftable package that is made exclusively by YOU would pair perfectly with an adorable baby outfit, blanket, or swaddle for a friend. And THE BEST GIFT IDEA would be to volunteer to wash, dry, hang up, and fold all of her baby’s clothing. (wink wink) Now THAT’S the ultimate gift.. Outfit + Dreft + laundry service!
Here’s the top 5 Things we do to help our kids help their mama!
- DISCOVER THEIR STRENGTHS– Take advantage of the chores they’re drawn to. Charlotte is THRILLED to unload the dishwasher and make her bed. I’ve let those be her responsibilities since they’re obviously her favorite. I’m sure she’ll get tired of them eventually and will take on new favorites! Right now, I’m making more of an effort to help them discover projects they enjoy.
- REWARD SYSTEM– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not above bribery 😉 Each of our older 3 kids have a calendar where they can earn small stickers each day. 1st sticker is for not waking mama up before the baby wakes. The 2nd sticker earned is for staying in their beds after they’ve been tucked in at night (this one is a little more rare). They love earning rewards! So we’re figuring out ways to do the same thing with chores and so far it’s working well. Activities, yummy treats, stickers. We just purchased piggie banks for the kids to keep the coins they earn from doing extra chores. Our 6 year old is SO excited about this one.
- ALWAYS PICKUP BEFORE MOVING ON– Before we do another activity we all make a huge effort to clean up the space before leaving. For example, before we go swimming (something they LOVE) we’ll pick up all the toys upstairs. I’ll always take advantage of fun future activities by having them clean up their current mess before moving on. Also, I’ve always been pretty consistent about reminding the kids to keep their toys upstairs. I also dedicated a room to be their playroom to keep all their toys in instead of their bedrooms. Lately though, I’ve wanted to separate the girls so that everyone has their own room (because bedtime has been a party for them!) but I’m powering through and hoping they’ll follow through one day.
- FOLLOW THE LEADER– The kids are much more likely to clean up when they see me do it. They love to copy the things I do and they LOVE to do things with me. YES, it takes more time to teach them to do chores like wiping off the table or cleaning the mirrors, but it’ll pay off in the end, and doing the chores with them, at least for the first few times, has been super helpful.
- REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT– From my kid’s behavior, I’ve learned that they need repetition. And lots of it! If I want them to always take their dirty dishes to the sink then I need to let them do it every single time (even though it can be much quicker to do it myself). Be consistent in the rules and chores since children seem to learn the rule by it’s exception. The more they see the chores being a normal part of their routine the more likely they’ll embrace it!
Thank you Dreft for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.