by Nanette Cohen, Director, Duman Opportunity Center
They say it’s never too early to learn how to swim, save for the future or teach your children how to do their own laundry. Teaching laundry skills by measuring the detergent, sorting, folding and putting clothes away can all transfer to successful work skills later in life.
Let’s take measuring the detergent. This task easily transfers to teaching math skills, and what job doesn’t include some form of math? Whether your child chooses a job as a baker, architect, cashier or social worker, math will come into play. Consider another skill, sorting. Mastering this at an early age can help with organizational skills that will be beneficial in the workplace and in daily living when keeping a schedule, organizing daily activities, and staying on task.
If you are thinking that there is no way my child can do the laundry, try following these steps.
- Don’t expect them to do all of the laundry the first time. Start with asking them to bring their clothes to the laundry room or help measure the perfect amount of detergent. Just like building skillsets for the workplace, when you master one skill, you build on it and go to the next.
- Observe to see which task they like to do and come up with other activities that grow the same skills. Encouraging and enforcing skills when your child is young will improve their self-confidence and influence their career choice.
- Just like a paycheck is a reward for working, reward your child for doing a good job with the laundry. It doesn't have to be a monetary reward, but one that will motivate your child to continue helping with the laundry and perhaps even to learn additional skills.
Start brainstorming to find other tasks your child can do around the house. Perhaps, it’s taking out the trash, loading and emptying the dishwasher, putting away their toys, or even helping prepare dinner. In each of these activities, there are items that relate to tasks that will be necessary to master for the work world. It’s never too early to begin.
JCFS Chicago supports you and your family at all stages of life. At Integrated Pediatric Therapies, our therapists specialize in growing the foundational tools that our youngest clients will utilize throughout young adulthood and into their careers. At that stage, the Duman Opportunity Center provides customized support to help our clients gain competitive employment opportunities. To find out more about all of our services and to schedule an appointment, call 855.275. 5237.