My son is eight. And because he is eight, he understands chores. He knows that they are a set of shared responsibilities to maintain our home the way we like it. And there are very specific chores he helps with (cooking, sweeping, drying dishes).

I've noticed quite recently that he doesn't volunteer with any chores that are related to him personally. For example, he still needs to be reminded to pick clothes and toys up off the floor of his room. But, if I pull out the broom, he wants to take over.

I hadn't really given this much thoughts - I mean, we all have certain chores that we don't mind doing and the ones that we can't stand doing. But, I recently learned that he is probably more adept at volunteering with the chores that he was invited to help with when he was a toddler. You see: Toddlerhood is the time to teach your child chores.

It seems a little counter intuitive to anyone who has been around a toddler: They drop things, they make a mess, they have a limited capacity for following instructions...but those are the big years for learning by doing. So, if they are watching a parent cook and being invited to help cook, then they will be more likely to help cook later on.

The key is to invite them into the activity.

I think back over the chores I never invited my son to help with, and wonder if there was a way I could have included him then. Or even if there is a way to include him now. Sure, the overall chore will take a little longer to get done, but wouldn't it be nice to have a little more help later on? Also, he will need to learn how to do these chores when he leaves the house, so better to start teaching them now.

What chores do your children help with? Tell me in the comments. 

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