Sometimes its just easier to clean up the toys yourself and dress your child, huh? In the long run, however, that discourages independence and responsibility. When Carter turned 3, we decided it was time for us to stop being his butler, maid and waiter, and for him to start taking on responsibility. Our philosophy is that as a family we are a team - everyone contributes and pitches in a hand!
So, to remind us to keep on top of this, and to encourage Carter, I developed a Chore Chart of age-appropriate chores. Little did I know when I started what a great teaching tool this would become! If there is a new skill we want Carter to learn, or a behavior we want modified, we put it on the Chore Chart!
I tape the chart up on the closet door in his bedroom. Every night before bed, I review the chart with him and put stars in each box that was completed. If he gets stars in all of his boxes for the day - he gets a quarter! If he doesn't, then we talk about what he missed and how to do better tomorrow. Plus, I reserve the right to withhold stars for bad behavior. The threat of losing stars is enough to compel his little tush into action! I love it :) Plus, he really looks forward to cashing out his quarters every once in a while and taking a trip to the toy store. This also helps teach him about saving and the value of money.
Now that he is 4, I need to think of some new chores for the chart. Any ideas?
Also, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org - if you want me to email you the Chore Chart file to customize for your child.