(From the Growing Child Issue 36)

By giving your child some work responsibilities within a loving home environment, you are helping to promote your child’s self-confidence.

At 3 years of age your child is capable of performing many tasks around the house.

Instead of inventing “busy work” for him, invite him to share in everyday family chores and responsibilities.

He can help set the table and wipe up spills.

He can dust furniture and help polish shoes.

He can clean floors with a mop or broom.

In the kitchen, he can help prepare food. He can pour cereal and milk in a bowl. He can stir foods that need mixing.

After dinner he can dry or sort the cutlery.

In the bathroom he can help clean the bath and wash hand basin. When doing the washing, he can help sort the clothes.

Be patient with any mistakes he makes. Try to not expect perfection the first time he tries to do something.

It won’t be long before he shows a sense of self-confidence and competency as he masters different skills.

There are many good reasons for involving your child in practical experiences in the home.

Learning to pay attention, sorting and counting items, making decisions, and solving problems are all school-readiness skills that are essential for intellectual development.

Most importantly, by working in a loving environment your child learns self-reliance, inde­pendence, and self-control, all of which promote greater self-confidence and self-esteem.