There are many reasons why children are much happier when they have household chores. Chores teach responsibility and independence. Every kid needs a chance to work on life skills in order to grow as an individual. Kids who start doing their own chores at an early age will likely need less handholding than those who aren’t introduced to these skills until later.

Doing chores also builds a sense of accomplishment and self worth. When your kid takes the time to put their toys away or take out the trash they grow to realize that living in a clean space feels good!

Create a chore chart with pictures and age appropriate tasks. When creating a chore chart, use simple photos and place your kid’s name on it. Keep the chart simple by only using the tasks they are responsible for each day (such as sweeping or putting their dishes in the dishwasher).

Be consistent. One important thing to keep in mind when teaching children how to do chores is that they need a system. Having a routine to follow around when chores need to be completed and how they should be done will help children feel more confident in completing the tasks on their own.

Set Expectations. Make sure your child knows exactly what is expected from him or her by giving specific directions (i.e., “I would like you to put the toys near your bed into your toy box.”). In order for kids to do well on household chores, they need direction from us as parents (or whoever helps them).

Be willing to let things go. Teaching your child how to do different household chores will not often come without some mistakes. However, you can use knowledge of their abilities to support them through training to help them complete each task.

Do chores with your child. Introducing your child to a new chore can be overwhelming, but trying it out alongside them may help the task not seem as daunting. When you show them how to do the chore with them first, this shows that they’re also capable.

Set time limits. Start off chores by setting time limits around a single chore. Make sure your kids are aware of how much time it takes to do certain tasks (i.e., folding clothes takes 5 minutes).

Use a reward system. Kids love prizes- many families use stickers or tickets as rewards on their charts. Some ideas for rewards could be an extra bedtime story, extra screen time, or even play a game with them after they do their chores for the day!

Don’t use chores as a punishment. It’s important to remember that chores should not be used as punishment- kids need a sense of order and responsibility. When children know what tasks are expected, they’ll more likely feel motivated to do them without being told how or when.