Kids and chores: A battle worth the fight!
RICHLAND, Wash -- No matter their age, it can be tough to get your kids to do chores. But child development experts say it's worth the effort.
At 12 years old, children are capable of a lot more than vacuuming, according to Montessori educators they can cook, iron and even do simple home repairs.
"You give them a lesson in what to do and then you go from there. You start simple and work your way up to more complex. Twelve-year-olds are very capable human beings," says Cheryl Ornstein, the program director at Children's Garden Montessori in Richland.
At Children's Garden, doing chores is introduced early as play. Sweeping, cleaning tables and the basics of cooking are encouraged.
Jennifer Mendez has a three-year-old daughter Alice who already helps around the house. "It's good to just give them a sense of responsibility and that will obviously grow as they get older, so she's pretty little now so her responsibility is pretty minimal," says Mendez.
Ornstein says chores are very beneficial. They teach important life skills, how to contribute to the family, and much more. "It speaks to how they're going to develop as young adults, they get more a sense of confidence, self esteem, all of those things all play into that."
According to Montessori guidelines, kids as young as two can help set the table and throw away trash. Six-year-olds can rake leaves and help in the kitchen peeling vegetables and making salads. By the time kids are 11, they can deep clean the kitchen and prepare simple meals.
As for knowing what your children are capable of, educators say watch them, test them out-- they'll likely surprise you.