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One of the toughest things to keep up with when you have kids is the mess. Whether it is laundry, dusting, or cleaning up after a pet, every chore is multiplied in magnitude. Once kids are in school, the problem may persist when they are home in the summer. The solution? Start training your kids for adult life by letting them help out around the house. Here are some ideas for age-appropriate household chores.

Making the Bed

Most kids are happy with just a comforter and don’t need a top sheet. That makes it easy for them just to pull the comforter up and put the pillow in place. To keep down laundry for you, use a duvet cover to protect the comforter.

Picking Up Toys

If toys have a place such as a toy chest or some form of bin or crate, training the child to put toys away after use is a must. How you choose to do so is up to you as a parent. However, have a specific time to put away toys. For example, toys may need to be put away

Before Bed
At Mealtimes
Before company arrives

Being consistent is the key to not needing to stand over the child.

Back-Saving Assignments

Since kids are already low to the ground, you can stay off your hands and knees by giving them some simple jobs closer to the ground. For example, they may be able to wipe down baseboards with a non-toxic cleaning wipe.

What About Older Kids?

As the kids get a little older, you can begin to introduce things such as washing the dishes, doing laundry, and taking care of household pets. You have to be prepared to follow up and make sure things were done right at first, but once these things are part of a schedule, you can go about other tasks at the same time.

A rewards system is usually the best way to motivate children. Keeping a calendar and applying stickers on the days a child completes his/her household chore often provides a sense of accomplishment. Rewards based on the number of stickers acquired in a week or month may provide motivation for long-term achievements.