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How to Delegate Chores and Actually Get Your Kids to Do Them

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Getting kids to help around the house can prove to be a Herculean task. More often than not, attempts to get children to participate in household chores are met with some form of resistance. Children today are spending less time doing household chores than ever before.

Although there is a common misconception that young children cannot participate in domestic chores, evidence suggests that children assigned chores from as early as age 3 become more self-reliant and independent, are they are also more responsible. According to Rossman, a professor at the University of Mississippi, including kids in chores is worth the effort: starting chores early is among the greatest predictors of success as an adult.

Encouraging children to participate in regular, reasonable and age-appropriate chores has been associated with social, emotional and academic benefits. Chores teach kids important skills such as responsibility, self-reliance and accountability.

In her book “How to Raise an Adult”, Julie Lythcott-Haims argues that by letting your kids skip household chores, you prevent them from developing important skills they will need later on in life. The Harvard Medical School psychologist Richard Bromfielf shares the same view: by neglecting to involve your children in household chores, you may be doing them a great disservice.




How do you get your kids to participate in household chores?

1 | Be specific

If you’re like most parents, you know you want your kids to participate in household chores but you don’t know exactly what you would like them to do.

According to Richard Bromfield, psychologist and author of the book “How to Unspoil Your Child Fast”, it is important to clearly define exactly what you would like your kids to do, and what you want to achieve by assigning them chores. Focus on your objectives:

  • Are there specific skills you would like your children to develop? Which chores can help you accomplish this?
  • Do you want them to participate in chores that are meaningful for the whole family or only those that directly concern them (like making their beds or cleaning their rooms)?

2 | Be firm and consistent

Most kids will resist household chores once they get past the age when “helping set the table” is fun!

It is important to clearly explain to your child that participating in household chores is not an option. Make it clear that “everyone who lives here has to participate in chores”.

Identify your non-negotiables, then be consistent. If you expect your child to set the table, be specific – how often? Every day? One meal or all meal times? Once you’re decided, be consistent. Fight the urge to do things yourself to save “time and energy”.

3 | Negotiate

Families in which negotiation is common enjoy better parent-child relationships, and kids raised in these families are more likely to cooperate. Take the time to listen to your kids. Be flexible. Tell your kids the household chores that need to be done then ask for their input: How can the chores be distributed in a fair way?

Let them decide who does what and when. You can also ask them to come up with a chore wheel that ensures the fair distribution of chores. When kids feel involved in making decisions that concern them, they are more likely to stick to those decisions.

4 | Choose age-appropriate chores

Many benefits are associated with assigning children household chores, but only if those chores are age-appropriate. Even children younger than age three can participate in simple tasks such as picking up toys.

It is generally accepted that children should have more benefits as they grow older; they should also have more chores. Try associating each new benefit with additional chores when they reach important milestones (for example on birthdays or at the start of a new school year).

Below are a few ideas about some of the things kids can do:

Below age 3

Pick up toysDust surfacesThrow their diapers in the trash can

Water flowers

Pick up their books

Age 3 to 4

All previous choresPut away toysPut their dirty laundry in the laundry basket

Help set and clear the table with help

Help clean small surfaces with a wet cloth

Wash hands by themselves

Help put away groceries

Fold their clothes with supervision

Choose their outfit and get dressed

4 to 5 year olds

All previous choresMake their beds with minimal helpHelp in the kitchen with supervision

Take care of a pet (feeding)

Hang up towel after shower

6 to 7 year olds

All previous choresMake bed without supervisionAnswer the phone

Put away their laundry

Wipe floor with mop

Put away cleaned dishes

Fold their clothes by themselves

8 to 9 year olds

All previous choresClean bedroomEmpty trash

Rake leaves

Prepare easy meals

9 to 12 year olds

All previous choresChange their sheetsWash dishes

Do homework by themselves

Vacuum and mop

Mow lawn

5 | Show them how

Don’t assume that your kids will automatically know how to perform household chores. Be clear about what you expect your child to do. If you expect him to dust the furniture, take the time to show him exactly how you want him to do it. If he doesn’t do what is expected, focus on the future: “next time I’d like you to …)

6 | Be clear on the consequences

Now that you have your chores set out, what happens if your kids don’t follow through or if they do a mediocre job? Once again, negotiation can come in handy and make it more likely for your kids to cooperate. Ask them to come up with the consequences of a poorly done job: Should some privileges be taken away? Should they repeat the chore?

What household chores do your kids participate in? Let us know in the comments below


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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


It's been more than a year since Khloé Kardashian welcomed her daughter True Thompson into the world, and like a lot of new moms, Khloé didn't just learn how to to be a mom this year, she also learned how to co-parent with someone who is no longer her partner. According to the Pew Research Center, co-parenting and the likelihood that a child will spend part of their childhood living with just one parent is on the rise.

There was a ton of media attention on Khloé's relationship with True's father Tristan Thompson in her early days of motherhood, and in a new interview on the podcast "Divorce Sucks!," Khloé explained that co-parenting with someone you have a complicated relationship with isn't always easy, but when she looks at True she knows it's worth it.

"For me, Tristan and I broke up not too long ago so it's really raw," Khloé tells divorce attorney Laura Wasser on the podcast. She explains that even though it does "suck" at times, she's committed to having a good relationship with her ex because she doesn't want True to pick up on any negative energy, even at her young age.

That's why she invited Tristan to True's recent first birthday bash, even though she knew True wouldn't remember that party. "I know she's going to want to look back at all of her childhood memories like we all do," Khloé explained. "I know her dad is a great person, and I know how much he loves her and cares about her, so I want him to be there."


We totally get why being around Tristan is hard for Khloé, but it sounds like she's approaching co-parenting with a positive attitude that will benefit True in the long run. Studies have found that shared parenting is good for kids and that former couples who have "ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse" are more likely to rate their co-parenting relationship positively.

Khloé says her relationship with Tristan right now is "civilized," and hopefully it can get even better with time. As Suzanne Hayes noted in her six guiding principles for a co-parenting relationship, there's no magic bullet for moving past the painful feelings that come when a relationship ends and into a healthy co-parenting relationship, but treating your ex with respect and (non-romantic) love is a good place to start. Hayes describes it as "human-to-human, parent-to-parent, we-share-amazing-children-and-always-will love."

It's a great place to start, and it sounds like Khloé has already figured that out.

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Kim Kardashian West welcomed her fourth child into the world. The expectancy and arrival of this boy (her second child from surrogacy) has garnered much attention.

In a surrogacy pregnancy, a woman carries a pregnancy for another family and then after giving birth she relinquishes her rights of the child.

On her website, Kim wrote that she had medical complications with her previous pregnancy leading her to this decision. “I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy. Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn't safe for my—or the baby's—health to carry on my own."

While the experience was challenging for her, “The connection with our baby came instantly and it's as if she was with us the whole time. Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl."

A Snapchat video hinted that Kim may have planned to breastfeed her third child. What she chooses to do is of course none of our business. But is has raised the very interesting question, “Wait, can you breastfeed when you use a surrogate?"


The answer is yes, you sure can! (And you can when you adopt a baby, too!)

When a women is pregnant, she begins a process called lactogenesis in which her body prepares itself to start making milk. This usually starts around the twenty week mark of pregnancy (half way through). Then, when the baby is born, the second phase of lactogenesis occurs, and milk actually starts to fill the breasts.

All of this occurs in response to hormones. When women do not carry a pregnancy, but wish to breastfeed, they can induce lactation, where they replicate the same hormonal process that happens during pregnancy.

A woman who wants to induce lactation can work with a doctor or midwife, and start taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone (which grow breast tissue)—often in the form of birth control pills—along with a medication called domperidone (which increases milk production).

Several weeks before the baby will be born, the woman stops taking the birth control pill but continues to take the domperidone to simulate the hormonal changes that would happen in a pregnancy. She'll also start pumping multiple times per day, and will likely add herbal supplements, like fenugreek and blessed thistle.

Women can also try to induce lactation without the hormones, by using pumping and herbs, it may be harder but some women feel more comfortable with that route.

Inducing lactation takes a lot of dedication—but then again, so does everything related to be a mama. It's a super personal decision, and not right for everyone.

The important thing to remember is that we need to support women and mothers through their entire journey, no matter what decisions they make about themselves and their families—whether Kardashian or the rest of us.

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