PARENTING CONNECTION: Chores Help Kids Build Worth and Responsibility

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mi. – (WLNS-TV)

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Chores.

Child experts say, study after study shows kids who are given household duties are more responsible, can deal with frustration better, and have higher self-esteem. These three qualities can help kids in both school and in society. That being said — suddently presenting chores for kids who haven’t done them before will likely go over poorly, so strategies to get them interested include: 

*Impress upon them you feel they’re responsible enough to help the family by doing certain tasks 
*Make the requests simple, but important 
*Offer up options

Child development expert Claire Vallotton with MSU says, introducing household chores can start when toddlers began responding to direction. 

“Not only are they building life skills, like doing your own laundry or cooking, that is really important when you are on your own — but they are also learning the values of being part of a family and contributing to that. Little ones are so anxious to actually be part of the family and do the work of adults it’s not a challenge to get them to do it — it’s just a challenge to help them do it.” 

Here’s a short list of chores matching the skill level for certain ages:

**Ages 2 – 3
*Pick up playthings with supervision
*Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket

**Ages 4 – 5
*Make their bed with minimal help
*Pick up their toys

**Ages 6 – 7
*Choose the day’s outfit and get dressed
*Be responsible for a pet’s food, water, and exercise

**Ages 8 – 11
*Learn to use the washer and dryer
*Take the trash can to the curb for pick-up

**Ages 12 – 13
*Vacuum the house
*Mow the lawn with supervision

As for the topic of money, most experts argue cash shouldn’t be involved with household responsibilities. That’s not to say rewards shouldn’t pop up now and again, but experts say, always promising money may promote problems in the future.

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