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Child Labor? No! Life Lessons

Now that I can more than the very basic television channels. I confess to not having cable, however, I now get a lot of home, family food and cooking television shows, no complaints from me, I love these shows. I see a lot of how to declutter your home, craft shows and such, but none about teaching your children to help or clean. Teaching children early on about putting their toys away and hanging up clothing seems the logical way to go when it comes to helping around the house. We know little ones often get in the way wanting to help and "do." Take advantage of that young eagerness and teach a lesson as well.

What can young children do?

1. In their room, whether it is their own or shared, they can pick up their toys from the floor and put them into a basket. They can put their books on a shelf that is low enough to reach. If their clothing are on the floor they can pick them up and put them in designated place or box.

2. Can they help with laundry? You bet. They can help sort socks and underwear. Let them pull out all of the socks and match the socks by color or a little more complicated, color and sameness. They may be able to sort and pull their own clothes from the laundry basket and put them aside. If they get a little confused, you should be nearby to guide them.

3. They can pick up news paper from the floor and put the papers in a stack.

What can older children do?

1. Hang up their clothes.

2. Help set the table for meals. One plate at a time is fine, itís not a race, it is learning how to set a table.

3. Help clear the dinner table.

4. Take out the trash. Make sure the bag or trash can is manageable. Trash to be taken out should not be so full it has to be dragged or bursting at the seams.

Giving kids chores in a pleasant manner and not as punishment helps to teach responsibility and starts them on the path to learning about daily living and life in general. While teaching children to help around the house, you can use this time to teach reading, writing and arithmetic as well. Ask what a word spells, ask how many socks, let your child write a note--"Books go here." to remind him where his books shoud be put after reading them.

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