Things are a wee bit chaotic in my house these days. There are 3 kids under age 5, for starters. I have a book coming out in a little over 2 weeks. My husband has a busy time at work as well. We've called in lots of help, but there is still a lot to be done.
So I've been pondering ways that my 4-year-old, at least, could start to do a few more things on his own. He knows how to get himself dressed...but doesn't always want to. He could wash himself better in the bath. He could bring his dishes from the table to the sink (and throw any garbage away). He could put his and his little brother's dirty clothes in the hamper.
Thinking I would try to get buy-in on this project, I asked him what jobs he'd like to do around the house. The answer? "I want to take care of Cutie." That's his nickname for the baby. A nice idea, but a 4-year-old doesn't make a good baby sitter.
So where does that leave us? A sticker chart helped with the potty training project a few years ago, but I have a sense that it wouldn't be as motivational in this circumstance. I'm trying to talk in a polite way that makes expectations clear, such as "Thank you for bringing the Legos back to the basement" as he's standing there pondering whether he's going to do it. But I'm really curious if people have had success with anything in particular. He's a smart kid, so I've pondered just explaining what I have here. Mom and Dad are swamped, and we would really appreciate it if he could be a big boy and do some things to help. But who knows...