Does Your Baby do Chores?

photo by BriWeaver

When I first saw this article in the
Washington Post, "The ABCs of C-H-O-R-E-S: How to Get Kids to Help Around the House," I thought it wouldn't apply to me yet—my baby's way too young. But according to the article, now might be exactly the time to start training her. And come to think of it, all the babies in our music class help pick up the toys and instruments and drop them in the storage bin.

But, kids today do less housework than they did 20 years ago, something I've definitely noticed. I had chores growing up—cleaning up after dinner, cleaning the bathroom on Saturdays, doing laundry, shoveling the driveway (and I didn't get an allowance). My teenage nieces, on the other hand, don't lift a finger (and they make more money than me!). Why?


For one thing, everyone is doing less housework. More moms work outside the home so kids are likely to be outside the home during that time as well. And more people hire someone to clean their house for them. But teaching your kids to help out at home is important according to child development specialists. And it's never too early too start. Here's how:

1. Clean together. Your baby is really interested in what you're doing. One of the experts says, "If they spill something you say, 'Oops, we had a spill. What do we do?' . . . You do it together. It becomes part of their daily life." So have your little one help you pick up those Cheerios on the floor.

2. Make it a game. Janet Frick, a professor at the University of Georgia who studies infants and children, says that when she does laundry with her kids, she hands them their clothes and has them race to see who can reach their room first.

Seems simple enough. Do you plan on having your baby "help out" around the house? How soon do you expect to start teaching him?

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