“But Dad never makes me do the dishes!” “Mom doesn’t care if I make my bed!”

funny-launderette-laundromat-2371It can be hard to hold your ground when your child tells you that she or he doesn’t do chores when staying at the other parent’s house. You may wonder if the fight for chores is worth it or want to be the “fun” parent who doesn’t require chores. However, research shows that, even from a young age, children benefit from having chores or other responsibilities. Instead of focusing on what the co-parent does, plan chores with your child that fit their abilities and that they can be successful at, and remind them that they are responsible for getting them done. For example, rather than letting your child off the hook, say, “Nice try honey, dishes need to be done by 6:30.”

Be an eParent®! Create an online list of your child’s chores and tasks and share it with your co-parent. (Try sharing the list with a free online notebook like Evernote or Google Docs.) Better yet, invite your co-parent to add to the online list so you both are on the same page with chores and expectations for your children.

Although children often grumble about doing chores, helping around the house has a positive impact on kids. Children who do chores feel more valued and learn life skills. Children also thrive on routine. Setting up a task list with your co-parent and having your child complete it helps give your child daily stability and a positive sense of self-worth.

Do you wonder what chores to assign? Read these articles to get ideas for age appropriate chores and to learn more about the value of chores for children.

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin – Madison/Extension Human Development & Relationships Institute online or on Facebook.

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