Age 4 is the age where they always want to help people around them. Help in cooking, help in cleaning, anything you do, they see you, they offer help. For them they seem to be helping even though they don’t actually lessen the load but find a sense of fulfillment doing so. So, I figured, since Eia always wanted to saute the garlic, fry the egg, stir the soup, I allowed her to bake or cook by herself. I gave her responsibilities at home. The ones I know she can do properly like setting the table, she helps too in cooking gourmet tuyo, and other things I think she can do when she finds me doing something. Sometimes when she insists on doing something that she can’t like slicing the onion, to make her stop, I let her do it. She has her own not so sharp baby knife and later on complained her eyes can’t stop crying. Since then she did not ask anymore. Just like when Pao was a baby, I made him feel the tip of the pin so he won’t ever want to touch it. Then I was never scared of Pao being around the needles because I knew he would not touch them.
I was busy making 100 jars of gourmet tuyo when my husband asked for merienda. Since the two younger kids were also hungry, I allowed them to cook their own snacks. They enjoyed their cooking bonding, felt responsible and fulfilled afterwards as well. It’s never too early to start giving your kids responsibilities. They love it! They feel like a grown up. That way too, when they grow up, you know they can play the game of survival when they have to. Pao at 9 was left in the hotel with his brother. We instructed them to clean the table after eating and naptime at 3pm. We got back at 4 and both were asleep, lights off, table clean. When out of the country, they can take the train on their own without us having to worry if they could make it back. Even when in Japan, their first time, they stayed in Disney sea until closing and found their way back to the hotel.
Regardless of the fact that the two older ones are boys, they know how to set the table, wash the dishes, they clean their own room and bathroom, change bulbs, replace water gallons, do bank errands, I think the only thing they have not tried is washing their own clothes.. that’s next!
So yes, it’s never too early to give your kids duties. That lessens your load and your worries and makes them responsible.