Giving Chores to Your School Age Child
While younger children may occasionally pitch in to set the table or pick up their toys, most children aren't assigned chores until they are in school. They should take on more responsibility around the home each year, suggests Edward L. Schor, M.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Initially, many children find it difficult to follow through and complete their chores because they are more concerned with doing something fun. Parents need to offer encouragement and gentle guidance to foster responsibility and follow-through.
There are many things a parent can do to help a child get accustomed to doing chores such as making her bed, feeding the family dog, or organizing recyclables. With younger school-age children, breaking a task down into smaller parts works wonders, says Janis Keyser, co-author of "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be." For example, tell your child to bundle all the newspapers, then bag all the cans, and so on.
A chore chart can be motivating -- spelling out the tasks your child must do and providing a place for stars or stickers marking the job well done. Eventually you may want to pay your child an allowance as compensation for completing all her chores successfully.