While it's certainly not the same thing as graduating from college or getting a first job, beginning to do regular chores around the house marks children's earliest entrance into the world of a grown-up responsibilities. If you have a couple of youngsters you'd like to see pulling their own weight (relatively speaking), you may have a difficult time explaining that they're suddenly in charge of cleaning the bathrooms or washing dishes after meals. Here are a few tips on how to welcome them into the wonderful world of chores.
Give them fair warning When all you've known is a life of play dates, storytime and mom-made snacks, suddenly finding out that you have to start doing some work can be quite a surprise. Because of this, you may want to give your children a little warning that they're approaching the age where you expect them to help out around the house. You can use this introductory time to teach them how to do their chores and set up a weekly checklist of duties.
Mix up responsibilities Chores aren't the most glamorous activities, but some are more desirable than others. If you have multiple kids, consider mixing up their responsibilities on a semi-regular basis. Nobody wants to be stuck scrubbing toilets every week when their siblings have cushy jobs like folding laundry or setting the table for dinner.
Offer some sort of reward While you could go the hard-nosed route and tell your kids that the reward for chores is food on the table and a roof over their heads - which sounds like something YOUR parents might say - you may have an easier time if you offer some sort of compensation for their work. For instance, a weekly allowance for a job well done will not only keep your kids happy, but it will teach them the value of a day's work.