teach your child choresHousehold chores are usually a child’s first opportunity to contribute to the family and be part of the family team. They are a healthy way to teach children about responsibility, the value of team work and the joy of helping others. Hard to believe that your child will learn all that from emptying a few trash cans, but all worthwhile lessons have to start somewhere.

When to Start Chores

Introducing chores to your children can start as soon as your child can help. Toddlers love to mimic mom and dad. Make a game of helping by allowing toddlers to carry the toilet paper to the bathroom or put cans on the pantry shelf.

As children grow so can their family responsibilities. Always tailor chores to your child’s abilities. A good place to start is by focusing on chores that teach preschoolers to take care of themselves: picking up their toys, putting away clothes and clearing their dishes from the dinner table. When your child is capable, begin adding age-appropriate household chores. Use chores to teach your child the life skills he will need to live independently such as cooking, cleaning, mowing the grass, doing laundry, and helping with home repairs, etc.

Being Part of the Family Team

To avoid turning chores into a power struggle, follow these tips from Horizon Education staff:

• Be clear about your expectations but don’t insist on perfection.

• Be consistent. Don’t do your child’s chores for him. Expect your child to follow through. Chore and sticker charts provide positive reminders.

• Be lavish in your praise and thanks.

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