Chores! I disliked them so much as a kid! Who did not?And I dislike the never ending battle to get my own kids to do theirs! It would be so much easier to let chores slide, but research shows it would not beneficial. And chores can be fun too, with a bit of creativity.
Chores have a purpose. Kids who do chores begin to see themselves as important contributors to the family. They develop self-esteem. They start to consider the needs of the rest of the family instead of their natural tendency to be self-absorbed. They take pride in being responsible and reliable. They learn skills they will use later in life.
What if your child is not physically capable of doing chores? I think there are various responsibilities he or she could have at home and still gain the social and psychological benefits of doing chores. Here are a few examples. Most of the technology suggested is available at your local hardware or technology store.
Turn the lamp on/off over the fish tank or pet cage.
Be responsible to turn lights off when you leave the house or at bedtime.
Turn the fan or heater on.
You would need:
- A remote-controlled receptacle or plug that uses RF or IR .
If you need the remote to be switch-adapted, pick a model that uses a single button for on and off. Models with 2 separate buttons will require 2 switches: one for on and one for off.
- A Smart plug (that uses Bluetooth or WiFi) to be controlled by a phone or tablet to plug a lamp, heater or fan in.
- A Smart light bulb (for your existing lamp socket) that uses Bluetooth or uses WiFi to be controlled by a phone or tablet.
- A Smart light switch for ceiling lights to be controlled by a remote control, phone or tablet via WiFi.
- A remote-controlled fan, heater or lamp. Some remotes can be switch-adapted if needed.
Be in charge of reminding you that it is garbage day or recycling day (or anything else you might tend or pretend to forget).
You would need:
- A reminder on your child’s phone, tablet or watch (That is if you use technology. A note on the child’s wall calendar could do to)
Announce that supper is ready (or any other announcement)
If your child is unable to speak or to say it loud enough to be heard by other family members, consider a voice amplifier or a voice output device like a BigMack switch.
Be responsible to check the weather forecast to inform family members of what to wear.
You would need:
- A way for your child to independently find the forecast on Internet (phone, tablet, computer) or television. Possibly an electronic reminder to do so.
Help with baking.
You would need to plug your blender or mixer into:
- A remote-controlled plug into which you plug your appliance. .
- A Powerlink from Ablenet with 1 or 2 switches. The Powerlink has 6 modes of control that allows you to define exactly how, and for how long, appliances will be turned on.
Help water the plants.
You would need a waterpick and:
- A Powerlink with 1 or 2 switches. The Powerlink has 6 modes of control that allows you to define exactly how, and for how long, appliances will be turned on.
These are just a few examples. Feel free to contact me to figure out the best solution for you and your child.
And then there are tasks that could be done without technology such as: delivering folded laundry to each room using a basket on a walker or wheelchair, dusting with a long handle duster, sorting silverware or laundry, etc. Ask your Occupational Therapist for suggestions of adaptive aids for chores.
These are just a few examples to give you ideas of how your child or teen can start participating in household tasks. If you have other suggestions I would love to hear from you! You may post them in the Comments section or contact me directly.