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Character Building: How Kids Learn Competence and Confidence Through Chores

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Building Character in Kids by Teaching Chores!

If you choose to build character in your kids through chores, you'll be instilling competence and confidence too. Our parenting expert today is Kathy Slattengren. Here's an excerpt from her book, Priceless Parenting Guidebook.

Learning through Chores ~ Chores Build Competence and Confidence

We have until our children are about 18-years-old to teach them all the basic skills they'll need to live on their own. That’s a lot of teaching!  Doing household chores is a great way for kids to learn the skills needed to run a household.

It’s also important for children to learn that being part of a family means helping out with household tasks.  We do not want our children growing up seeing us as their personal servants!

Starting Chores Early

Starting chores when children are young and enthusiastic is great timing. Most preschoolers are not very good at chores but they are often eager to help. When parents give their preschoolers some simple chores and start teaching them how to do more complicated ones, they are on the road to enabling their children to be significant contributors to the family.

One mom explained she is teaching her 5-year-old twins how to do the laundry. Although she still needs to provide some guidance, the boys are so proud they know what buttons to push and how to do a load of laundry! Mastering new household skills builds self-confidence in children and starts building appreciation for what needs to be done to keep the household running.

Choosing Chores

It can be helpful to list out all the tasks that need to be done to keep your family going (including things like going to work to earn money, paying bills, providing rides). Next, sit down with your kids to discuss how to divide up these tasks.

It’s important for each person to understand their chores.  Some families post daily chore lists in the kitchen.  Others work together on chores on a certain day of the week. 

Paying for Extra Chores 

One way to allow children to earn money is to pay them for doing extra chores in addition to their normal ones.  It's a great way to get work done and for our children to earn money for the special things they would like.

Our children earned a trampoline by each doing 100 extra chores.  It took them almost a year to accomplish this and they were extremely proud when they finished earning the trampoline!

What chores do your children have? (To learn more go to page 28)


I appreciate Kathy's excerpt . When children learn competence and confidence through chores they can become confident competent adults. The key is starting them young.

Let's APPLAUD Kathy Slattengren for her wisdom in building character in kids through chores.

Social Skills for Kids Kathy Slattengren
Kathy Slattengren M.Ed.

Pick up Kathy's book,

Priceless Parenting Guidebook: Ideas for Handling Everyday Parenting Challenges

Cover Priceless Parenting
            Available at Amazon.com


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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Need a Chore Chart Kit with a handy list of appropriate chores plus a chore chart for your kids?

Kd008_Chore Chart Kit
Available at www.KidsDiscuss.com

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