I mean, sure, telling them to pick up their toys after playing with them or having them throw their dirty diaper in the trash...but household chores?...why make them work when they are so little? Isn't that kinda cruel?
But then I realized I was thinking about it all wrong. AND I started to give my kids a little more credit. So, I started to make suggestions and then I watched them as they thrived.
Our oldest son Trusten (here 3 years old)
"helping" his daddy with the bathroom remodel...
In our house, it started when Trusten was just about 2 and a half. He had always followed me into the laundry room...so one day I suggested...
"How about you stand on that stool and throw all these clothes into the washer?"
"Okay! I'll be inside."
Shortly, with a huge grin and puffed out chest, he came in smiling and saying "All done! Come see!"
It wasn't until then that I discovered, he loved helping! He loved accomplishing something on his own! He loved hearing his momma say "Good job buddy, that really blesses me!"
I have since realized that having my 1, 2 and 3 year olds help with chores is their privilege. It's not for me--after all, I could probably get it all done in HALF the time they do! But the fact that they are "lessing my load" isn't the point. The point is that they are able to *work* at something, *finish* their task and feel the *joy* of being a blessing.
Adam was created to work...and so were my children..and especially my boys. Remember that it was before Adam's fall into sin that, "the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." (Genesis 2:15)
So I'm trying to teach my boys even at a young age that their days aren't all about playing and doing what they want to do. There are certain "expectations" I have for them.
But you know what the beauty of all this is? They don't know chores are "bad" like us adults do! Little boys love their chores! They think it's one of the funnest parts of the day! And in their "down time" they still often come and ask me, "can I have a chore to do?"
Which is really them asking, can you trust me with a "big person" job because I want to help you and feel good about my hard work?
To which I say, "Yes, that would bless me very much!"
Now don't let me fool you, there are days when my boys (especially as they get older) get tired of doing the same thing every day, but we try to always encourage that they still complete their chores with a joyful heart.
And those times are always the perfect opportunity to remind them...
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." (Colossians 3:23, 24)
See HERE for how I delegate and manage my kids chores!