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Household Chores and Children
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What is a vital ingredient to getting along as a family?
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Hi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. If you are like me, picking up toys isn't the best part of your day. This program will discuss strategies to get your kids to help out more around the house.

When children help with housework it teaches them important lessons about cooperation and responsibility and can increase their sense of self-esteem.
Choose Tasks by Age

It is important to choose tasks that are appropriate for the age of the child. Our kids enjoy helping to dust the house for example but they are not really old enough to operate the vacuum.
Teach Personal Responsibility

A good place to start is with their own toys and clothes. It is never too early to get children in the habit of picking up after themselves. Sometimes we make a game out of picking up- like last one to pick up his toys is a rotten egg. Or you might try making up a little clean up song.
Allow Kids to Contribute at Mealtimes

Another place to involve the kids is learning to set the table. Of course you won't let the little ones handle your fine china but they can help out with unbreakable dishes, utensils and condiments.
Assign Pet Chores

If you have pets, you can teach the children to help with their care and feeding.

Read Responsibly

In our house we read a lot of books so I have been trying out a new rule that before we read another book the last one needs to go back on the shelf.
Encourage and Thank

Be sure to offer constructive coaching and thank them for helping. It is not necessary to pay your kids to help with household chores. Helping out one another is a vital ingredient to getting along as a family.
Teach them to be responsible. When kids make a mess, they should be expected to participate in cleaning it up. It is important to remember that household chores are a part of family life and teaching your kids to help out allows each member of the family to contribute. Remember these simple guidelines:
Choose tasks that are age-appropriate.
Teach children to be responsible for messes they make.
Offer constructive job coaching and sincere thanks.

Thanks for watching. To find out more visit us on the Web at Parenting.About.com.
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