Your Child and Chores

Doing chores teaches a child how to be self-sufficient and clean. That's why it's important to avoid guilt feelings as you guide your child. When you give your child a job to do, it should be uppermost in your mind that you are helping him as much as he is helping you. Your attitude is your best weapon for keeping the whining at bay. If you feel good about accepting his help, he'll feel good about helping you.

And why shouldn't he? It's his home, too, and it's in his own interest to keep things running smooth. The trick is not to overburden your child with housework and to give tasks that are age appropriate.

Great chores for little kids.
For a small child, this might be stocking the bathroom with fresh rolls of toilet paper, but for a really fun time, provide a sponge and some warm (not hot) soapy water (dish soap is safe) along with rags for drying. Let him have his way with the lower kitchen cabinets, so you don't have to bend. Show him how to wield the sponge in a circular motion. You might have to change him into dry clothes when he's done, but he will have a great time and feel good about his contribution.

Even though he is young, he can hold his own in the chores department. Another great job for little ones is to find and match up socks in a basket of clean laundry. All these tasks will be met with joy.

And for older children…
As they get older, children can be taught to sweep, dust, and wash the floors. And of course, kids should be taught how to make their beds and place their dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor.

Sometimes it can help to have a family meeting to discuss who will do which chore that week. Speak with your kids about teamwork. Take notes and have one child be responsible for drawing up a chart for that week's household jobs.

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