If you want your kids to help you the key is let them see you doing a task and inviting them to join. We call that “Working WITH your child.”

Working WITH your child is different than giving your child chores to do. They both have their place. As children learn and work WITH you they are gaining skills and confidence. Chores are something done independently.

A task that is easy and seems elementary to an adult might be complicated for a child. You’ll need to break it down into simple steps. Give your child the easier parts of a job. For example, when making a bed, a young child can put the pillows at the head of the bed and be responsible for tucking PJs under the pillow or in the drawer.

Working together can be educational and fun. There are lessons everywhere! Putting away groceries together can become a math lesson (How many oranges did we buy?) or a lesson on nutrition. And if you are having fun, the kids will too. Attitudes are contagious.

Children of every age can work with you.  Younger kids can help you set the table, sort laundry, pick up toys, help with the new baby… the list goes on and on. Older kids can learn how to do yard work (from shoveling snow to mowing the lawn).

When a child learns by working WITH a parent, the transition to assuming that task independently is much easier. And always remember to compliment a job well done!!

What jobs have you done WITH your kids?

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