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Including your children in chores

It is appropriate to let your children participate in household tasks. Chores help them learn how to organize their time, how to handle responsibilities, how to set goals and how to acquire skills.


Let your children grow accustomed to chores by starting with the little things, even the tiniest things like asking them to put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and putting his toys away. Older kids may give you a hand with the dishes or hanging their clothes. Some children may handle more important tasks like setting the table and dusting off the library.


– Ask your little one to become your assistant if he tries to get your attention while you’re folding clothes, for instance.

– Try to avoid stereotyped activities. Boys may like cooking or cleaning the dishes while girls may like crafting or cleaning out the garden.

– Don’t forget to bring fun into the equation. Put some music on, dance and joke around while performing these tasks to teach your child that positive feelings and group work come together.

– Transform chores into games. If you want your child to tidy his room ask him: “would you like to play shopkeeper? You can sell toys but first they have to be well organized on the little tables so clients may see them clearly.” You will of course have to play along for a few minutes and ask the store “keeper” to find the toy that you would like, but the point is that the tidying routine would have been fun. If you need his help in the kitchen ask him to be your assistant. Your chlid will find it fun to play that part while simultaneously helping you.


Children often want to help their parents by doing the same things they do. If you have not asked your child to participate in completing chores, it’s never too late to start!


– Avoid “hiring” your child to help you out. Explain to him that in order for the family to function well, every individual must play his part. Tell him that chores are his way of helping out in the family. If you want to give your kindergartener some pocket money, explain the value of money to him and help him understand how to manage it but do not use it to thank him for helping out with chores.

By allowing your child to participate in chores since infancy and by adding to his responsibilities as he grows up, you are making sure that your child does not associate chores with burden. If you have split household work between your partner and yourself, things will be easier as your child will see that you are both working together to run things smoothly.


When your child does not do his chores


The child will not always want to do his chores and sometimes it will be a difficult chore for you to make him do his chores! What to do when he does not get up to play his part?


– Allow him a reasonable amount of time to complete his chores in order to make things easier for everyone. Give him the liberty to finish them the way he likes, provided that he does so before a certain limit of time. Avoid yelling at him constantly if he refused to do them.

–  If he does not complete his chores by the time limit you’ve set, do not do them yourself! Otherwise you would be sending out a message that “you shouldn’t really do your chores unless you want to because mum and dad will do it, if you don’t.”

– If a chore should be redone because it was not well done in the first place, insist upon it kindly and patiently so your child may take the time to do it correctly.



Remember that for a child to do the chores assigned to him without being reminded of it constantly, the parents should begin assigning them between the ages of 3 and 5. Parents should also be patient because learning this may take a few years, in other words, don’t wait until your child reaches his teens to begin this practice!