When A 6-Year-old Washes Dishes



Boy Washing DishesWhen my 6-year-old asked if he could do the dishes, I decided to shush the part of me that was going to thank him kindly and offer a more age-appropriate chore to help out with. Why not reinforce this self-initiated and sincere offer to help? Usually I hassle my kids to put away their laundry and set the table because I know that chores teach children a sense of responsibility, competence, self-reliance, and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives. I certainly didn’t want to miss the opportunity to ‘capture’ this voluntary act of household responsibility and increase the likelihood that it would happen again! So I got out the step stool and resigned myself to mopping up a huge sea of dishwater.

Dishes Piled HighTwenty minutes and some precariously piled dishes later, I had a wet but extremely proud little boy who was planning his next tasks of tackling the bathrooms and the car! Honestly, I have to say that the dishes were even fairly clean – much better than when his father washes them!

Read more about getting your child started with doing chores.

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  1. It’s hard for a type A to stand by and watch a mess happen when it’s technically clean up time! I would definitely have a hard time with that so kudos to you for making it a teaching moment. I struggle with this with my boys but I have to keep in mind that this is how they learn!!

    • Thanks for your comment, I’m sure so many parents can relate to that. Not every moment can be a teaching one – especially at the end of the day when everyone is tired! And sometimes it’s important to have limits too… another valuable skill our kids need to learn is accepting ‘no’ for an answer!

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