If you come over to my house, you will notice something about the way we are around here: Our kids do a lot of helping. You'll find my boys making meals, using cutting boards and knives, loading dishwashers, doing their own laundry, and getting their baby brother up in his high chair for lunch.
Don't get me wrong--it is not automatic, always voluntary, or even all done correctly at times. In fact, there are lots of spills, scorches, mistakes, and do-overs. I would describe it less like a well-oiled machine, and more like constant tuning and training. We've not hired "a mother's helper" and we don't have the budget to eat out regularly or hire a housecleaner. So...we have an all-hands-on-deck approach because, truthfully, we simply wouldn't survive otherwise.
But, the point is-- I've learned to let my kids participate in tasks around the house at every age. Even the 22 month old puts away laundry and dusts...to the best of his ability.
I'm over at The Better Mom today, sharing about how and why we can include our children in all that keeps a family running, by creatively employing little hands and willing hearts. Come and read 8 of my practical tips on how I teach my kids to participate at any age!