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Children, Chores And Charts – Teaching Responsibility

By: Vincent Platania

Many hands make light work, the old saying goes, but that's only part of the reason to insist that your children pitch in to help with household chores. More important than the help around the house is the fact that you're teaching your children responsibility, accountability, teamwork and how to survive in the world when they grow up. In fact, for the first few years that you give your children chores to do, it will actually make MORE work for you. But it's definitely worth it in the long run when they ARE helpful... and it's even more worth it when they call from college and casually mention that no one else in the dorm has a clue how to clean or do laundry.

Getting your children to do chores doesn't have to be a huge hassle, though. There are a lot of strategies and tips to help you get them working and helping out around the house. My personal favorites are the ones that make the most sense from a learning and teaching perspective – tips and tools that set clear expectations and help your kids learn to do household chores the right way, on their own.

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Start with a Household Chores List – And Make It Fun

First, sit down and compile a list of chores that your children can help with. Don't be too concerned about whether they can complete the whole thing themselves – one of the chores on your list might be dusting the living room, for instance. A six year old can't manage it by himself but his chore might be to 'dust the tables'. The trick is to make it fun and safe. Instead of a dust cloth and furniture spray, give them a 'puppet'. You can spray some furniture polish on an old sock that fits their hand or use a cleaning mitt (Polishing and Cleaning Mitt) so that all your little one needs to do is run a hand over the table and the dusting is done. He'll be so proud that he could help!

Organize with Chore Charts for Children

You can also help keep everyone organized by printing out chore charts for your children. A chore chart is a learning aid rather than a schedule. For each chore that you expect your child to do, create a one–sheet chart of instructions on how to do it. For instance, your chore chart for 'Clean the Living Room' might look like this:

How To Clean the Living Room

Tools: Dust mop, Cleaning Mitt (Polishing and Cleaning Mitt), Furniture polish, Laundry basket
Do the job!

1. Pick up any toys, books or clothes and put them in laundry basket to be put away when you're done.

2. Take everything off tables.

3. Put on the cleaning mitt and spray it with furniture polish.

4. Wipe tabletops and legs of tables.

5. Dust mop the floor with the polisher. Don't forget under the couch and chairs!

6. Put toys, books and clothes where they belong.

7. Get a cookie from the cookie jar. You're done!

Make It Easy With the Right Tools

When you're first learning how to clean house, the right tools can make all the difference. Providing household cleaning tools that are designed to do a good job make it easy for kids to help out and be proud of the work that they do. A good broom (Angle Broom), a cleaning mitt (Polishing and Cleaning Mitt), a dust mop, a dustpan and brush designed for little hands – all those things will help your child do the job right the first time, and every time.

About the Author: Author Vincent Platania represents the Fuller Brush Company. Fuller Brush has been in business since 1906, and offers safe, environmentally friendly products for keeping your home and your body clean. Visit
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