Are You Choosing the Right Chores?

Big Kids

Your grade-schooler's off on his own, gaining responsibility and independence during the school day. So don't be afraid to let him go solo on certain small-ish chores. Debating whether to reward for these tasks?

Perfect Pitch-Ins

  • Load up the dishwasher. Now's the time to break his toss-everything-in-the-kitchen-sink habit. Have him rinse off his plate and place it (and accompanying silverware, etc.) in the dishwasher.
  • Accessorize the table. Give kids table-setting duties. Bonus: You can casually gab about your day while you cook and they set.
  • Feed the pooch. Keeping Frank fed turns your kids into careful caretakers (training for future babysitter gigs) and also teaches them to follow a regimented schedule.
  • Tee off. Your child should now be able to put away folded shirts and other dryer-fresh duds.
  • Pack it in. Cut down on morning craziness by having your child restock her own backpack at night, packing homework, permission slips, and whatnot.
  • Make a clean sweep. Demo a quick spin with a broom or vacuum. You may need to supervise this task now, but in a few years, your kids will definitely be able to do it alone.
  • Be a bookworm. As your older kid becomes a reading pro, ask her to take charge of story time for younger sibs -- a great alternative to TV.
  • Stock up the fridge. Let your child return condiments (salad dressing, ketchup) after meals or help you unload grocery bags after you get home from the supermarket.

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