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The current buzz going around is that our children are entitled, that they are not prepared for the real world and I am here to tell you, a lot of that buzz is true. For the last decade, there has been a decline in expecting children to help around the home, that doing menial housework or chores is not as important as their homework, extracurricular activities, etc.

 

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KEEPING KIDS BUSY IS A GOOD THING

Experts have scared parents to believe that they are too overbooked and they don’t have time for such things, nor do they really benefit from it. Well, I am no expert, but I am here to tell you keeping children busy is a good thing. Giving children responsibility and preparing them for the real world is in-fact our responsibility as a parent and a pretty important one. With that said, I do believe there needs to be a balance. I also believe it is our job as parents to teach our children to organize and prioritize their schedules. Keeping kids busy, if done in an organized fashion, can really prepare them for the real world and give them a set of tools that will be invaluable later in life.

 

STOP ENABLING

As parents, we don’t want to see our children struggle, so sometimes we just do things for them because it is easier on them and us for that matter. By doing this, we are enabling them and teaching them life is a lot easier than it truly is. As hard as it is to allow my 4-year-old dress himself in the morning, it is important to allow him to do so. The same thing goes for allowing him to pour his own milk, help feed the dog, organize his room, help fold laundry, etc. All of which are things he can realistically do, just maybe not as well or as fast as you or I.

 

CHORES 

When children reach the age of 2 or 3, they can be doing age appropriate chores or tasks around the house. Most people start with a bathroom chart that rewards them for going potty, brushing teeth, etc. This is a great way to start. As they get older, you can add to this chart with things like picking up toys, helping feed a pet, putting clothes in the laundry, setting the table, etc. Obviously, as they get older, these change to larger tasks or more complicated chores. See below two FREE CHORE CHARTS to download. Get your little one started today.

CHORE & REWARD CHART

FAMILY CHORE CHART

 

REWARDS/ALLOWANCE

As a child, I never received an allowance but I did get rewarded for doing things I was expected or told to do. I believe in both systems for different reasons and even think a combination of both methods works well too. I currently use a reward system for the most part for my son and it works well for him. He knows what is expected of him daily and what happens/doesn’t happen if he doesn’t act or do as he is expected. For example, when we go out in public, he knows he is expected to be GOOD at all times, but he also knows if he is EXCELLENT, he will be rewarded with a special treat (maybe a candy, Slurpee, quarter or whatever is available to me at the time).

 

TEACHING OPPORTUNITY

Allowances, as your child gets older, may be important too because you can then teach your child about the value of a dollar. One thing my mother always taught me was that we had to save 50% of everything we earned or received, then the other 50% we could do what we wanted. However, with that said, some of our wants had to come out of that money and that we couldn’t just expect our parents to pay for everything we wanted above and beyond the normal things they provided. A very valuable lesson each child should learn and experience.

 

 

LET KIDS BE KIDS

Being a parent is hard. Knowing when to give your kids more responsibility and when to just let them be kids is hard too. They need both; responsibility and fun. The best way to know if you have found the right balance is to simply listen. Listen to what they are telling you, their struggles, their successes, how they react to situations, etc. You will know when it is right, you just need to be present and listen. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the free printables. Please follow and share!

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