Pathways to Wellness

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Chores are activity too!

Doing chores around the house or yard is a way of being active.  While many household appliances and yard tools take the activity out of chores, there's still plenty of work that requires physical activity - for adults and children.

Helping out with household chores isn't only about being active.  Helping out with chores teaches children a sense of responsibility, builds competence and self-reliance, boosts confidence, and helps develop empathy.   

Can chores be child's play?  Not exactly.  But that doesn't mean chores need to be drudgery.

  • Pick chores that fit your child's age and abilities.  A toddler can help pick up and put away toys, collect dirty clothes, or help move clothes from the washer to the dryer.  Older kids can help with dinner or laundry, yard work, and even cleaning the bathroom. 
  • Kids should be involved in deciding who does what chores.  Family meetings and rotating chores are good ways of getting buy-in. 
  • Chores are about sharing the responsibility of home, and shouldn't be seen as paid part-time work.  Some people recommend keeping allowances separate from doing chores.

The earlier you start involving children in chores, the more they benefit.  This is a great way of preparing young people for living on their own.

Here's a fun way of getting everyone involved when the house is a mess: set a timer for 10 minutes and get everyone to start tidying up.  It's amazing how much can get done if everyone gets involved.  And when the timer goes off, be sure to spend some time having fun together - play cards or a board game, go outside to play tag or build a snow person. 

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