Assigning chores to kids

July 04, 2003

It's important to establish chores appropriate to children's ages and skill levels. The National Association of School Psychologists suggests that parents:

  • Start with relatively short and simple tasks before moving to tasks that offer a mild challenge.

  • Choose chores of some interest for young children.

  • Choose chores that can be done daily to establish a sense of routine.

  • Demonstrate the task.

  • Offer more recognition and support than direction after children grasp the task.

  • Point out what has been improved by children's efforts.

  • Offer a list of alternative chores for children who crave variety.

  • Assign chores so both sons and daughters have the opportunity to learn a wide array of skills.

  • Make sure chores are completed.

  • Involve teens in the process of making sure their chores are done correctly by asking them to check their work - before parents inspect it - as if they were evaluating the completed job from a parent's point of view.

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