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Do your children do chores?
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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP posted:
It's never too early to teach your child responsibility in the form of simple chores that will make them feel good about what they have accomplished. Early on, toddlers can begin to learn simple personal responsibilities, such as putting away their toys. As children get older, responsibilities can evolve from picking up their toys to other personal responsibilities such as cleaning their room. Ultimately, when your child is more mature, they can take on family responsibilities such as setting the table. No matter what you call it, whether a chore, task or job, it is a responsibility that typically falls into a predictable daily or weekly pattern or routine. By starting your children young, you begin the fundamentals of helping them learn how to do things for themselves, which, in turn, helps to build positive self esteem.

As children get older, chores and responsibilities can vary from household to household depending on what you feel is important in your home. While some parents teach their children to make their bed in the morning, others prefer that their children help make breakfast or put dishes away and some focus on school work as a child's main responsibility. Whatever you choose to value in your household, here are a few tips to help things run smoothly.

1. Explain clearly what your child's responsibility or chore is so they know exactly what is expected.
2. When the child is a toddler, turn the chore into a game — For example, sing a song about cleaning up, or see who can put away toys the fastest.
3. Praise effort more than the job or how it is done.
4. Avoid nagging and negative feedback.
5. Role model the behavior you expect.
6. Consider a reward system as children get older whether a sticker chart or even allowance once the concept of money is understood.

Have other tips to share? What responsibilities or chores are important in your household?

- Dr. Tanya
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff responded:
I completely agree with you Dr. Tanya!


I have a large family of 6 children. As toddlers, we used "The Clean Up" song, and clean up races. We have used group clean up as a great bonding tool. After dinner, we divide the clean up and talk about our day, also joke around and try to make the chore fun. Teens are easy because when they come to me for money the first thing they ask is; Mom, do you some extra chores for me? Extra chores earn money, for big ticket items, video games, hoodies, and designer shoes, while normal chores earn needs. Need a ride, need movie money, and need date money.
 
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LeeLou25 responded:
I agree! I think children should have chores. Even my two year old cleans up her toys with moms help. We also sing the clean up song. My older children keep their room clean and also take dirty laundry to the laundry room and put their clean laundry away. I think that it does make them feel like they have accomplished something and they feel good about it. I dont know how many times that they have just picked up the living room or their bedroom without me asking them to and come get me and say mom look what I did! I think children love to make their parents proud. Well at least mine do. I have great kids!
 
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Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to LeeLou25's response:
You do have great kids, LeeLou! My grands will clean up sometimes without asking and I love it too!
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
I agree! My toddler, who is only 20 months, actually likes helping with little tasks around the house, like putting his books back on the shelf after we are done reading them and putting toys away. We hang the wet dishrags and washcloths we use to wipe his face after meals in the laundry room to dry, and every morning, DS goes in to pull them off and sort them into the correct hampers. We don't force him to do that, but he just does it himself, and we make a game out of it. I think it's great that even at a young age he wants to help, and I want to make sure he feels good about that.
 
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SC_Momof1 replied to cheeezie25's response:
I think chores even at a young age is great. Our 4 year old has been doing "chores" since he was 3. He is responsible for feeding the dog, when told to, set the table, help empty the dishwasher, help with the laundry, clean up his toys, help wash the dog, help cook, etc.. I think children even at a young age need to learn these things and having something that they are responsible for can give them a sense of accomplishment.
 
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stressed1857 responded:
with my daughter she always beeged to help out until teen years but at 16 really helps out with alot of things washing the dogs washing her and her brothers clothes cleaning her room as for my son he is 7 and his sister has spoiled him but i have made it clear that she is not to do his work like putting his clothes in the dirty clother and taking the dogs outside and putting them on the chain he volenters for alot of things but my boyfriend and my daughter feel he is to young i told them to let him do it just to check and make sure it is done right and if not explain how to do it and what was done wrongand to tell him good job if done right my daughter has always tried to play moma with my son me and him alike some times get agervated with it i tell her it is good to help but if i am around i can do it he is always yelling at her that she isnt his mom she is 16 so there is a big difference in age i remind her by doing it he aint learning how to be self sufficant


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