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Child-worthy chores: you don’t have to do it all yourself!

Child-worthy chores: you don’t have to do it all yourself!

Chores: the perfect answer to teaching your children to contribute to family life while giving yourself a little less to do every day.

Well, you’re only potentially giving yourself less to do; we all know that the best intentions of two year olds don’t always materialise in the most helpful ways!

When I was a kid I was not a huge fan of the dreaded chores list and would have been grateful for anything to make them, well, less of a chore.

So how can we make helping out around the house less daunting for kids?

It’s so important to always be age appropriate whenever we ask our little ones to carry out a household task.

We can’t really expect 2-3 year olds to sort the laundry or set the table (imagine the havoc!) but they might be able to put their toys away or wipe up any spills.

Likewise, 7 year olds might not learn too much about being responsible people if all they are asked to do is to pile up magazines (although every little helps!).

Asking them to help you make a packed lunch for the following school day seems more appropriate and will hopefully lead to you being able to hand over the task for good!

Being consistent with things like these will lessen the likelihood of children putting off chores or ignoring them altogether too.

Another important part of handing out chores is accepting imperfections. Nobody’s perfect, especially when they’re learning to do something for the first time.

Don’t be tempted to step in and complete the task for them; they won’t learn how to get the job done and might be less willing to repeat the activity.

Like with most learning processes for children, offering praise goes a long way. Don’t just wait until the chore is completed, or they may never get there!

Be encouraging while your child is tidying, dusting, weeding or whatever else the task might be. That way you can build up positive momentum to help them as they go!

I’ve found that creating a list of chores for Alice to complete over the course of a week has been really helpful. She can put stickers next to each job when it’s done and it really motivates her to get through them.

Don’t be concerned, by the way, I promise my own list is longer than hers!

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