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By now you’ve been stuck in the house for months, right? Hopefully in that time your children have learned some valuable housekeeping lessons. But how do you know what’s appropriate for your children to do? At what ages can you expect more from them?

According to Jim Fay, author of “Parenting with Love and Logic,” children need to feel like they contribute to the running of their home, and chores are a great way to get them involved. Even the youngest family members can get in on the action.

Fay offers two pieces of advice for getting children to complete their chores. The first is never to demand it be done immediately. Give them a time frame by which they should be done. The second is to avoid constantly nagging your children. Older children, especially, should only need to be instructed once on what to do.

Regardless of the chores, experts agree that parents should start early, give plenty of praise and don’t expect perfection. Children need to be taught how to do their chores, and the more specific the instruction can be, the better. Asking a child to clean their room can be overwhelming to them but giving specifics – put the books on the shelf and make the bed – gives them a clear picture of what is expected. 

Try introducing these chores by age. You know your child best – each develops at their own pace. 

Toddler:

●              Put toys away

●              Feed pets (but remember that pets are an adult’s responsibility)

●              Wipe up spills

●              Put dirty clothes in the hamper

●              Pile books

Preschooler:

●              Clear the table

●              Put toys in proper bins

●              Bring in mail

●              Pull weeds

●              Make their bed

Younger elementary:

●              Sort and fold laundry

●              Load or unload the dishwasher

●              Tidy their bedroom

●              Sweep or vacuum

●              Set the table for dinner

Kids 10 and older:

●              Clean bathrooms

●              Walk the dog

●              Do their own laundry

●              Cook simple meals (with supervision)

●              Wash dishes

●              Change their sheets

As children age, increase their duties or change them up to grow with them. Regardless of what your child does to help out around the house, it’s sure to be a relief for parents and give kids a sense of responsibility. 

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