How To Get Kids To Do Chores and At What Age?

Parenting expert, Judy Arnall, discusses the democratic, non-punitive way to get kids (and partners!) to help around the house!

What Chores When?

2-3 years old (done with adult)

Empty small wastebaskets

Put on pj’s

Pick up trash in yard

Wash face

Brush teeth

Comb hair

Help set table

Clear table

Help load dishwasher

Help put laundry in dryer or on drying rack

Pick up toys

Put dirty clothes in hamper

 

4-5 years old (done with adult)

Get dressed

Make Bed with Duvet

Pick up room

Dust their room

Hang wet laundry on clothes rack

Clean TV screen

Help in the yard

Get ready for bed (brush teeth, put on pj’s, etc)

Lay out clothes for next day

 

6-7 year olds (done with adult)

Brush teeth (with adult)

Set breakfast table

Help with dishes

Change sheets (help from mom)

Feed dog or cat

Vacuum room

Take out trash

Dust room

Sweep porch

Clean inside of car

Help with dinner

Sweep porches and walks

Help with dinner clean up

Dust baseboards

Fold laundry

Carry in groceries

Empty backpack lunch containers by the sink

Make sure backpack and school papers are by the door and ready to go

 

8-9 years old

Start ironing easy items

Clean sliding door glass

Clean fingerprints from doors

Dust other rooms

Wash car

 

10 years old and up

They can do all that the other ages do plus:

Change their sheets by themselves

Clean the bathroom

Clean up kitchen

Help with cooking meals and baking

Scrub floors

Water plants

Straighten bookcases

Wipe down washer and dryer

Sew and mend

Put away groceries

 

12 years old and up

Clean entire bathroom

Clean kitchen alone

Vacuum entire house

Do grocery shopping

Sew and mend

Repair jobs

Clean range

Help with heavy spring cleaning

Paint

Straighten closets and drawers

Get groceries

13 Years and Up

Everything an adult can do, a teenager can do!

Let them at it!

Are Consequences Punitive?

0000consequences

In groups, I get asked all the time if consequences are punitive.  It depends.  Consequences are natural outcomes that occur if a parent intervenes or not.  Yes, consequences happen to kids all the time when they are out and about in the world.  The rest of the world will issue consequences to your child, but only you, as the parent, will take the time and effort to problem-solve with them. Children will get consequences from teachers, coaches, police, and other adults.  That’s okay.  Those people are not building a life-long relationship with your child.  You are. When you take the time and effort to problem-solve, you are giving your child valuable life and relationship skills – negotiation.  Your communication lines will remain open and you will enjoy a wonderful relationship with your child.  Here are the differences between consequences issued by a parent in the name of punishment, and problem-solving which is a form of non-punitive discipline.

Watch the video on how to problem-solve with children instead of using punishment.

Top Ten Phrases to Instantly be a Better Parent

 

Many times as parents, we blurt out sayings that we heard as children and later vowed to never say to our own children. However, that is easier said than done. In times of stress, we revert very easily back to actions and phrases we heard and seen when we were parented.

Parenting skills are learned skills, and we can consciously effect change if we become aware of what needs to be changed. Here are 10 common parenting phrases and alternatives of “what to say instead” to nurture closer, caring, and more respectful relationships with our children.

INSTEAD OF:                                                     TRY:

You are a bad boy!                                              What did you learn from this?

Hurry Up! We are late!                                       It’s okay. Take the time you need.

Oh NO! Fudge! Look at
what you have done!                                           It really won’t matter five years  from now!

You need to…                                                        I need you to…

Because I said so!                                                 I’ll explain my reasoning in five minutes.

Stop that tantrum right now!                             You feel frustrated. Want a hug?

No!                                                                          I can see you really want it.

You’ve wrecked my….                                   I’m really angry. I need to take a time-out.

Stop doing that!                                             Would you consider this?

Suck it up and stop crying.                          It’s okay to cry and feel your feelings.

Go play and leave me alone.                        I love you!

Try any one of these substitutions today and you will see how much better your parent-child relationship will be. If you are not sure what to say and how to say it, especially in the moment, just offer a hug. You will be surprised how much body language can communicate empathy and affection, and then you can get on with solving the problem with your child.

Judy Arnall is a professional international award-winning Parenting and Teacher Conference Speaker, and Trainer, Mom of five children, and author of the best-selling book, “Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery” and the new DVD, “Plugged-In Parenting: Connecting with the Digital Generation for Health, Safety and Love,” and the new book, “The Last Word on Parenting Advice.” http://www.professionalparenting.ca (403) 714-6766 jarnall@shaw.ca

Copyright permission granted for “reproduction without permission” of this article in whole or part, if the above credit is included in its entirety.