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The Value of Chores: What, When, and Why?

What?
Here are some suggestions, though you know your child best. Remember sometimes kids are more capable than we give them credit for, so ask them which chores they think they can do. They just might surprise you.

Ages 2-3:
Hang wet towel on hook, put toys in bins, put trash in the garbage can, throw dirty clothes in hamper, wipe up spills, help put away groceries, dust the coffee table
Ages 4-6:
Help fold towels and socks, sort dark and light laundry, assist in meal planning, wash vegetables, help to empty dishwasher, feed the pets, clean room, use whisk broom and pan
Ages 7-10:
Use an alarm clock, prepare own snack, load and empty dishwasher, put away clean laundry, complete homework, read to younger siblings, cook simple foods, water plants
Ages 10+:
Manage an allowance, make bed, operate washer and dryer, mow the lawn, cook a meal, wash the car, babysit younger sibling, haul garbage and recycling cans to curb
Teenagers:
Every single thing you can do. (Legally.)

When?
Today. Now. Not many parents of grown kids tell me “I wish I had given my kids fewer chores when they were young”. Most wish they had given their children more chores and more responsibilities. So start today, no matter your child’s age. It’s never too late.Siblings Doing Dishes

Why?
Because a family is a team, and the team works better when everyone pitches in.
Because assigning chores says that you believe in your children, you have confidence in them, and their help is needed and appreciated.
Because completion of chores makes children feel capable, valued, and helpful.
Because chores helps children learn time management, the value of hard work, and how to work as a team.
Because successful adults know how to do laundry, make beds, empty dishwashers, mow lawns, care for pets and plants, work with others, and clean up their own mess.
And it is our job to teach them how to do these things, and more, one small step at a time.

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