April Parenting Tip of the Month
Children & Chores
Spring has arrived! The change in seasons means we can put away our hats and coats, and bring out jackets and short-sleeve shirts. This is the time of year when families clean out closets and engage in some spring cleaning. For busy parents, it can be a challenge just to keep up with everyday chores or weekly tasks that go with maintaining a household.
Did you know there are additional benefits to having your children help you with chores or household tasks beyond just the completion of the task? A research study by Marty Rossmann, professor of family education at the University of Minnesota, found that having children involved in household tasks at a young age was the greatest predictor of adult success. Success was defined as completing an education, starting a career path, having good relationships and not engaging in destructive behavior.
Below are lists of age-appropriate chores for your children to complete:
Chores for children ages 3 to 5:
  • Help set the table.
  • Wipe up spills.
  • Place dirty clothes in hamper.
  • Pick up toys.
  • Help with food preparation (i.e. washing fruit, tearing lettuce, etc.).
  • Sort/match clean socks.
  • Make bed/help make bed.
  • Add water to pet’s bowl.
  • Put items in recycling bin.
  • Pick up sticks outdoors.
Chores for children ages 6 to 9:
All previous chores, plus:
  • Help with food prep and/or read recipes.
  • Set the table.
  • Put dirty bed sheets in hamper.
  • Feed the pet.
  • Water the plants.
  • Unload the dishwasher.
  • Sort the laundry.
  • Move laundry from washer to dryer.
  • Put laundry away.
  • Get trash from other rooms.
Chores for children ages 10 to 12:
All previous chores, plus:
  • Take the trash out.
  • Make/pack lunch for school.
  • Clear and clean the table after meals.
  • Vacuum the floors.
  • Sweep up kitchen or garage.
  • Dust the furniture.
  • Clean the bathroom.
  • Assist with laundry.
  • Assist more with cooking.
  • Rake leaves.
  • Add mulch to flowerbeds.
Here are some tips to get you and your child(ren) started with new chores:
  • When you begin a new chore with a child, it is important to do it together several times before you expect your child to be successful on their own.
  • Be very specific and realistic with your expectations.
  • Always acknowledge your child’s efforts, even if they do not complete the chore correctly. Remember that they are learning. This can be done with a hug, fist-bump, a sticker or by saying, “Wow! You picked up all your toys. Great work!”
  • Chores are not as fun as playing with toys, running around outside or playing on or with electronics. Be flexible and offer your child choices. i.e. “Would you like to clean the bathroom before lunch or after lunch?” or “Would you like to pick up your books or stuffed animals first?”
For additional ideas on how to have children help with chores, click here .

Children who assist with household chores are learning cooperation, responsibility, time management and developing pride. When your children whine or procrastinate with their chores, remind them you are helping them to become successful adults.
Source: Today’s Parent, The Ultimate Guide to Chores http://www.todaysparent.com/kids/preschool/the-ultimate-guide-to-chores/