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Chores and Manners

Chores & Manners for kids

In addition to assisting parents around the house, teaching your child about chores and manners is an easy way to begin giving him or her responsibilities at an early age. Chores and manners for kids also make the child feel like he or she is contributing to the household, and feeling needed can be important in development.

It should be noted that your child is probably more capable than you think – that is, do not assume they are too young for chores. They may not perform them perfectly, but they will eventually learn how to do them and will, in the meantime, learn responsibilities. Remaining consistent is also essential – if you ask them to set the table some days, but do it yourself on the other days, it seems like an option to your child – they have noticed that if they do not set the table, mom or dad will do it instead, and they thus may be less likely to cooperate. Praise is another factor, as constant and immediate encouragement will reinforce positive behavior.

Chore system that works

It is important to find a chore system that works. There are many different ways to assign chores and ensure that your child follows through with them. Something that worked well in my house growing up is a chore chart – essentially a piece of paper someone drew a calendar on that was set up in the kitchen for easy access. For each day on the calendar, my mom wrote down chores that needed completing – for example, feeding the dogs, emptying the dishwasher, setting the table – and left room at the bottom for extra items. The child that completed the chore would initial next to it, and our weekly allowance was determined by how many initials we had on the chart. The allowance we earned each week became leverage, as it was easily taken away through backchat or swearing. Monetary reinforcement is better for the older kids, while extra television, dessert, or staying up slightly past bedtime may serve as appropriate prizes for younger children.

Remember to keep the chore age-appropriate list. For example, a 2 or 3-year-old is responsible for putting their toys away, while a 4 or 5-year-old can make their bed, water flowers, or unload the dishwasher; a child who is 6 or 7 can sort the laundry and sweep the floors, and a child of 8 or 9 can help make dinner. Start assigning chores at a young age, even if they are simple, as they help establish a routine and let the child know they are helping out.

Holding your child to mature chore standards will encourage them to have mature manners as well. Please’s and thank you’s are essential, as is general kindness to others and respect of their elders – including mom and dad! Their behavior can be regulated by adding or taking away a reward (TV time or staying up later for younger children, money for older kids). Chores and manners are intertwined at a young age.
(Please tell my parents that it worked! :))

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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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