Help your children build a work ethic.

When you give your children chores to do, you teach them about responsibility, autonomy, accountability, determination, and perseverance. They will carry these qualities with them throughout their life, and most importantly, they will apply them to their work life in the future.


  1. Give your children routine chores.
    Keep these chores age-appropriate. If your child is young, ask them to help you stack a set of magazines, or help you load the dishwasher. If your child is older, ask them to help you with raking the leaves in the yard, cleaning the inside of the oven/microwave, etc.

  2. *Push your children to find initiative.*
    As your child grows older, stop telling them what to do. Instead, lead them to discover the tasks they need to complete on their own. For example, instead of telling your child to take out the trash, say to them, “I want to be sure that the trash doesn’t overflow next time. What can we do about that?”

  3. *Model the behavior you want to see in your children.*
    Don’t expect your child to work while you relax on the couch!

  4. *Expect their help—don’t apologize or over-explain.*
    Recognize that your children must pitch in with household duties. You have no reason to apologize to them for giving them reasonable chores. You can explain the rationale behind each chore, but be wary of over-explanations, as they give your child the impression that you are trying to justify an unreasonable chore.

  5. *Give clear, straightforward instructions when it comes to new tasks.*
    Tell them what to do, then step back and let them do it.

  6. *Give appropriate thanks and feedback.*
    Be wary of overpraising your child, but be sure to acknowledge their efforts.


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