Chore List By Age

Chore List By Age

Chore List by Age

Need helo implementing chores? Check out our chore list by age.

 

Requiring your child to complete chores helps teach valuable skills for independence, builds self-confidence, and takes some of the work off your plate. The below chore list by age provides examples of what kinds of tasks your child could be ready for at a particular age. As your child grows, you can pull chores from their current age category as well as from any younger age category.

Please note, as long as you are requiring some chores what chores you choose does not really matter. The important part about chores is that you are teaching your child responsibility, accountability and self-efficacy.

If your child is neurodivergent or has a disorder, please read our tips on chores for neurodivergent children to go along with this chore list by age.

After you chose a task from our chore list by age, take the time to teach your child exactly how you want them to perform the task

Avoid Parenting Pitfalls

 

One of the most common mistakes when implementing chores with your child is the belief that your child will know what to do automatically.

The reality is you should expect to have to break down each chore into simple steps and teach your child exactly how you want them to perform it. Even for older kids and teens. It may be common sense to you, but your child has never learned it before so be patient and understanding as they learn a new skill. Make sure to stick close to them the first handful of times and show them rather than tell them what you expect. Once they can perform the task properly two or three times, you should be able to leave them to complete the task on their own, depending on their age and ability.

When your child completes their chore, don’t forget to check their work and keep them accountable. If they have made a mistake, don’t get mad. Simply show them how to correct the mistake and ask them to re-do that part. If your child has a breakdown at this point, let them take a break first and tell them they can come back to the task after a short period of time or before a different activity begins.

If a chore repeatedly results in mistakes or a breakdown, it is either time to re-teach the task in smaller steps or to choose a different chore and work your way up to the harder chore.

The important thing to remember is to remain consistent with having your child complete their chores and meet an acceptable level of standards.

 

Chore Lists by Age

Chore list for toddlers (ages 2 – 3)

 

  • Put away toys
  • Dust leather couch/furniture
  • Wipe down table
  • Pair socks
  • Water plants
  • Move chairs for vacuuming

Chore list for preschoolers (ages 4 – 5)

 

  • Help carry grocery bags
  • Set table
  • Help unpack grocery bags
  • Make bed independently

Chore list for young children (ages 6 – 7)

 

  • Take out trash
  • Load/Unload dishwasher
  • Fold laundry
  • Help prepare a meal
  • Pack own lunch
  • Help take care of a pet

Chore list for school age children (ages 8 – 9)

 

  • Put away groceries
  • Hand wash dishes
  • Vacuum
  • Rake leaves
  • Shovel snow
  • Prepare a family meal
  • Take care of a pet (give food, water, clean area and walk)

Chore list for older children (ages 10 – 11)

 

  • Clean bathroom
  • Mow lawn
  • Do laundry
  • Clean windows
  • Sew for minor needs/fixes

Chore list for tweens and teens (ages 12 +)

 

  • Help with more extensive house cleaning and organization projects
  • Watch younger children independently (for 2-4 hours)
  • Help run small errands

How To Get a Toddler to Listen: Proven Parenting Tips for Improved Cooperation

How To Get a Toddler to Listen: Proven Parenting Tips for Improved Cooperation

How To Get a Toddler to Listen:

Proven Parenting Tips for Improved Cooperation

Tips to get your toddler to cooperate more provided by a certified parent coach

Parenting a toddler can be filled with parental frustration as you try to figure out how to get your toddler to listen to you, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out these parenting tips to get your toddler to cooperate and listen better.

Start small, with clear simple instructions

 

It is important to only give one instruction at a time and to stay close to your toddler to ensure compliance in the beginning.

When your toddler is beginning to learn how to cooperate and listen, avoid giving directions when you are on the move, distracted or in a hurry. Instead, make sure you are giving instructions when your child is an arm’s length away or less. Once your toddler grows and learns how to listen, you can work your way up to 3 instructions at once, but remember, they must remain simple.

If your toddler struggles with more instructions or go back to not listening, do not be afraid to drop back to only one instruction at a time and work up their stamina over time. You can also increase your distance from them, but if they regress to not doing a requested behavior then you need to go back to being close to reinforce their need to listen.

Limit distractions

 

Toddlers are not made for multitasking so make sure distractions are limited when you are giving your instructions. This means your child’s head is not buried in a screen or they are not immersed in their play when you are talking.

A toddler’s play is their work and just as you need to get to a good stopping point so you can switch tasks, so does your toddler. If you need to gain your toddler’s attention, make sure to give them a warning about the need for their attention and get down on their level. Visual timers, like from Time Timer*, can be a great way to help toddlers transition to listening or to a different activity.

 

Make demands mean something

 

If you want your toddler to listen, make sure you actually want them to do what you are asking. Meaning you care enough to take the time to follow-up and make sure they complete the task. Otherwise, if you request your toddler do something and then later back off and do it yourself or you give up and let it go, you are sending them mixed signals.

For toddlers, consistency is the key. They need to learn that every time you make a request you expect them to complete the task, not sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. So once you have made the decision that you want your toddler to do something, stay firm to ensure compliance.

This requires you to show them exactly how to do it until they have learned the expected behavior. If they refuse, make sure to break down the task into smaller tasks that are easier to complete. So instead of ‘put your toys in the box’ you might first say ‘find the box’.

Extra parenting tips for transitions

 

Calmly tell your child to take their time with the task, that the next fun thing on the agenda (like reading a book with you) can wait until they are done.

If a child is playing it can be helpful to play with them for a minute or two before transitioning them to the new activity you are requiring.

Make sure to preview what the next activity and expectations will be before making the demand.

Be clear about what you want

 

Toddlers feel more secure when they are told exactly what to do. So instead of telling your child to get ready to go, try telling them ‘put on your shoes, then put on your coat’.

Keep the instructions as a requirement, not a ‘would you like to…’ or ‘how about you…’ as those words make it seem like the toddler has a choice in the matter. If there is no choice to what you want your toddler to do, using choice wording will invite conflict and refusal if your toddler does not want to do it.

Offer limited choices

 

Sometimes offering your toddler a choice can help with non-compliance. For example, ‘You need to brush your teeth and use the potty. Which do you want to do first’. Make sure you are offering choices you can live with and limit the choices you offer to two.

Understand your toddler’s resistance

 

Sometimes we don’t like what we have to do. Toddlers are no different. If your toddler starts to have a tantrum or meltdown reflect back your child’s feelings. Repeat they do not want to stop playing, wear their coat, leave, etc. Restate back to them that they are mad, sad, frustrated, disappointed, etc. Acknowledging their feelings by reflecting them back, will help your toddler transition through their feelings faster.

Once they have calmed down offer them a hug, but remain insistent in the task being completed. That may mean you need to help them start the task or break it down into smaller tasks. It can also help to reaffirm your family’s values when enforcing the required task by stating “This is what we do in our family”.

Help your toddler learn

 

Toddlers learn best through mirroring and modeling so in the beginning, do the tasks along side your child so they learn how you expect the task to be done. Over time you will be able to remove yourself from participating once your toddler has learned what is expected.

 

Do you ned more support to help to get your toddler to cooperate and listen better?

If you need help putting any of the above parenting tips into practice or you have other parenting questions, I invite you to schedule a free 30 minute consultation so I can customize parenting solutions to fit for you and your child.

 

*Happy Parenting & Families does not receive any compensation for recommending this product.

Triggered by Your Child: Finding Hope Through Actionable Steps

Triggered by Your Child: Finding Hope Through Actionable Steps

Triggered by Your Child?

Finding Hope Through Actionable Steps

When your childs challenging behavior triggers your rage_parent coaching can help solve difficult behaviors

Are you a parent triggered by your child?

 

No one can push your buttons the way your child does. But for some parents, interactions can feel more overwhelming because your child not only pushes your buttons, but triggers uncontrollable reactions in you.

When a parent feels triggered it can come out as anger. It may feel like you have a shorter fuse and that you explode more or become aggressive. Sometimes it comes out as avoidance. Feeling like you can’t stand to be in the same physical space as your child or interact with them. And sometimes it comes out as giving in or giving up. Feeling like you can’t possibly win. Feeling so exhausted you question if you can do anything right so you simply chose to do nothing.

No matter how you react, the end result is the same. You feel like you are failing as a parent. Like parenting is incredibly hard and frustrating. And often times it leads you to feel like you don’t want to be a parent to your child.

And then you have the guilt for your thoughts and your actions. And you feel alone because no one else seems to have these struggles like you.

 

You are not alone

 

I know that feeling because it is a feeling I used to get a lot when my eldest was young. For me, my child triggered my anxiety. Whenever they began to spiral I could feel my anxiety rising. And as a result I would try to control the environment to keep my child from becoming triggered. Because it was the only way I thought I could keep myself from becoming triggered.

Because when I became triggered I became angry. And when I was angry I was not the parent I wanted to be. And my child, who was struggling with their own anxiety and overwhelm, could not have access to the regulated parent they needed in those moments.

I knew I was not helping my child and that I was hurting our relationship. But I couldn’t figure out how to not get triggered by my child. And for me, I felt very upset and defeated after I was triggered. Because before I had my eldest I was laid back and handled pressure well. I couldn’t figure out how I had gotten to this point of dreading my child’s reactions or how to break the cycle.

So what did I do? Well it took some time to recognize that my child was actually a trigger for me. That it was more than just getting on my nerves or pushing my buttons. They were causing a very intense, uncontrollable reaction in me. And that because of that reaction and how much I dreaded it, I was doing a lot to try to avoid or minimize my child’s triggers. But what I did not discover until later was that all the work I was doing was acutally making things worse.

Once I realized I was being triggered I needed to reflect on how I wanted to live and parent. I took a hard look at how I was parenting. And I realized that I was putting a lot of effort in, but not getting the results I wanted. In short, I was doing a lot of accommodations, but still being triggered a lot of the time.

That caused me to realize that if I wanted something to be different I was going to have to do something different. Because what I was doing was not working for my child or for me.

 

A place for hope

 

Being triggered by your child does not make you a bad parent. But it does make parenting harder. A lot harder. So if your child is triggering you, you are not alone. And while it can be a good idea to work with a therapist or counselor to discover why you become triggered, this article is about the things you can do right now to break free from being triggered by your child.

These things all take time, so give yourself some grace and understanding. Behaviors don’t change overnight. Just keep showing up and doing the work. That is how you make changes.

 

Breaking Free of Being Triggered By Your Child

 

1. Understand your body’s reaction – it is not just in your head

 

Your body is having a biological reaction to your child’s behaviors. When your child has a big reaction, or you have an intense memory of how your child reacted the last time, your fear center becomes triggered. This is a normal reaction anytime you experience someone’s anger or when you feel threatened.

When your fear is triggered, you react in a very biological way. Your survival instincts kick in and that means your thinking brain shuts off. So you have a harder time regulating yourself. Meaning you are much more likely to escalate up right along with your child who is upset.

So how do you interrupt this biological reaction?

You need to remember to practice coping techniques. If you are becoming triggered you need to take care of yourself first. Regaining your calm is necessary to be able to effectively calm down your child. Try taking deep breaths, removing yourself temporarily from the room if it is safe for your child, or naming your feelings.

By practicing coping techniques you can regain control over your body’s reaction and bring your thinking brain back online. Once you are able to think again it becomes easier to problem solve solutions to help your child as well.

 

2. Understand it may not be your child who is causing you to be triggered – it may be you

 

When your child hits certain milestones or ages, it is natural for you to remember your childhood at that age. Depending on your experience, your family interactions or how you felt at that time it may cause old feelings and trauma to resurface.

And what a lot of people don’t know is that trauma can be caused by both big and small events. And it varies from individual to individual. Trauma can be caused by invalidations or criticisms that get repeated over and over, often without anyone being aware that any harm was being done. In short, trauma is based on your individual response to an event that you found overwhelming and that you could not fully process. So it is not uncommon for your parenting to bring up trauma that you did not know existed.

That is why when our child behaves a certain way or reminds you of when you were young, your childhood feelings reemerge. And the tricky thing about trauma is it blends time together. What happened in the past and how you felt gets mixed with what is happening now and how you feel now. Making it hard to realize your emotions and triggers are coming from the past.

So how do you move past a trauma you didn’t even realize you had? This is where mindfulness, yoga or Qigong can help. Each of these tools helps you to breathe and focus on the present moment. And when you can breathe and bring awareness to how your body feels in the present moment you can begin to separate out the past from the present. Yoga and Qigong can be especially helpful if your body needs movement in order to focus on the present.

By practicing a form of mindfulness you are creating space to notice and question your feelings. What are you feeling? Why might you be feeling this? And when you can answer these questions you can then make an intentional decision about how you are going to proceed. And that ability to be intentional has the power to change your interactions with your child and their interactions with you.

 

3. Instead of avoiding being triggered, work on interrupting your triggers

 

It is easy to get into the habit of trying to avoid your child during certain time periods or events. Or to bend over backwards creating accommodations in hopes that your child will not trigger you. And it is easy to say you are doing it to keep the peace and make things easier for everyone. But it’s time to ask yourself if it really is easier.

Chances are your avoidance is leading to more behavior issues because kids tend to escalate behaviors if they feel they are being ignored. Or you are actually spending a lot of your time and energy on making accommodations, with little results.

So what can you do?

Practice the STOP mantra. When your child is escalating and you feel like you are going to escalate right along with them 1. Stop 2. Take 3 deep breaths 3. Observe what you are feeling and 4. Proceed with intent.

The importance of breaking the avoidance habit is because avoidance is not a long term solution. Emotions that are not dealt with do not go away on their own. They usually resurface later with more intensity. The key to moving past your emotions is noticing what you are feeling. And moving past your emotions is critical to forming new behaviors for you and your child.

 

4. Choose to practice empathy and compassion for both your child and yourself

 

When you become triggered as a parent, parenting gets 10x harder. So acknowledge your struggle. Tell yourself that this is really hard right now. And tell yourself you are doing the best you can right now. Practicing this kind of self-compassion can help you shed any guilt or shame you are piling on top of yourself. It also lets you experience a little kindness when you need it most.

But don’t forget about your child. It may be hard to do as your child is triggering you, but remember they are a child. They are not trying to make you upset. They are trying to communicate they are struggling and that they need help. It’s just neither of you are at your best right now.

Remind yourself of these things and you will find you are able to be more empathetic to your child. And empathy leads to connection, understanding and patience. All of which help resolve behavior challenges faster.

 

5. Work on repairing your relationship after you have been triggered

 

No parent is perfect. All parents yell. All parents have said something to their child they later regret. What happens during an escalation doesn’t matter nearly as much as what happens after the event.

Repairing is the act of acknowledging your actions and making amends for them. In order to do this, you need to acknowledge your part in the escalation. This means you let your child know how you were feeling, why you reacted the way you did and how you could have done better.

Repairing is critical. Not only does it teach your child valuable relationship skills, but it helps you put your emotions and reactions into context so you can recognize and learn from them. It helps to create awareness and accountability, which can help you change your future responses.

Repairing also helps protect your child from trauma because it gives them a chance to process their feelings and emotions about an event.

Final Thoughts

 

Parenting is never easy. Especially if your child triggers uncontrollable emotions in you. But becoming triggered is something you can change.

If you are triggered by your child and need help or support, I invite you to schedule a free 30 minute chat to talk about how parent coaching can help support you and your child.

Chores For Autistic or ADHD Children

Chores For Autistic or ADHD Children

Chores for Autistic or ADHD Children

Chores for special needs kids require adjustments be made to meet your child where they are

 

As a parent of an autistic child or a child with ADHD, you want your child to grow into independence and be able to one day thrive on their own. However depending on your child’s particular struggles and challenges, you may wonder what your child can realistically take on. Or you may simply question when to push them to do more or when to let things go.

The truth is raising an autistic child or a child with ADHD requires a complete overhaul of your expectations as to what they can and cannot do. But with the right structure and support, your child can work towards more independence through chores.

Parenting tips on implementing chores for autistic or ADHD children

 

Be realistic with what your child can do

 

A child’s numerical age is rarely, if ever, aligned with their developmental age when they have autism or ADHD. Understanding your child’s diagnosis and what their strengths and challenges are can help to guide you in setting what chores your child can take on.

 

Pay attention to sensory triggers

 

If your child is sensitive to a particular sense, make sure you take that into account when deciding what chore to give them. Are they able to handle the sound, vibration and sometimes smell of a vacuum? If not, don’t make that a chore for them. Perhaps sweeping would be a better fit. If your child has tactile sensitivities then finding the right kind of glove they can wear when doing their chores is necessary before you can take on giving them chores.

 

Be realistic with what your end goal is

 

Some neurodivergent children will be able to live independently with proper supports in place, some will be able to live in a group home setting, and some will require more dependent care. As your child grows and you have more experience learning what their challenges mean for them, adjust your end goal accordingly. View this as a fluid process and a slower launching process. Expecting too much of your neurodivergent child too soon can cause them to shut down and become overwhelmed, which can lead to anxiety or depression.

 

Have a candid discussion with your teenager

 

For teenagers who will eventually be living in a group home or independently, have a candid conversation about what daily chores they struggle with. If they truly cannot pick up after themselves because their neurodivergence is making it too big of an obstacle, talk to them about their options. They can either agree to implementing and working through chore routines in small, manageable steps or they will need to always budget for a cleaning service to take care of this aspect of their life. If they choose the cleaning crew option, don’t fight it, don’t spend your time and energy on it, just move on to something that they are willing to work on.

 

Use visuals

For all chores, use a visual chart. For example, take a before picture of dishes in the sink, a picture of them doing the dishes, and then a picture after the dishes are done. Display these pictures instead of a chore list.

 

Use Choice Boards

 

Allowing your child to choose the chore they will complete from 2-3 pictures can increase success.

 

Break Down Chores

 

Break down all chores into smaller tasks to be completed. If you can, continue to provide visuals for the smaller steps until they are learned. For example, if the chore is to load the dishwasher, have a picture of glasses to indicate all the glasses should be loaded first, then plates and so on.

 

Provide Rewards to Reinforce Habits

 

The use of rewards can be extremely effective for neurodivergent children. It does not need to be something huge, perhaps a favorite snack, special art supplies only available when chores are completed, a game, screen time, etc. Make sure to show a picture of the reward next to the chore so your child knows what they are working for.

 

Final thoughts

Life with a autisic child or child with ADHD can feel overwhelming, frustrating and full of worry. Please remember you are not alone. If you have any questions about parenting your neurodivergent child or if you would just like support from someone who truly understands the challenges and struggles you are facing on a daily basis, please connect for a free 30 minute chat.

If you need ideas about what kind of chores to give your child, check out our Chore List by Age.