McCraine Law Firm August 2017

August 2017

The Road to Justice Starts Here

301 E. Jackson St., Douglas, GA 31533 • 912-383-7581 • 1400 Baytree Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602 • 229-232-4114

George F. McCranie, IV Best-Selling Author

AHELPINGHAND

Teach Kids Responsibility With Age-Appropriate Chores

“CHORES” – A DIRTY WORD IF YOU ARE A BOY growing up on a farm with a dad who grew up during the Great Depression! Chores have often been a regular aspect of a family household, and my dad, Big George, was a master of coming up with chores. However, many parents today are questioning the importance of assigning housework over extracurricular activities. Research has found (thanks Google) that only 28 percent of parents say they assign chores to their own children. While extracurriculars are important, many experts believe there are real benefits of performing chores in a child’s development. A study from the University of Minnesota analyzed data from 84 children across four periods of their lives: preschool, ages 10 and 15, and theirs mid-20s. Researchers found that young adults who had regular chores at the age of 3 or 4 were more likely to have better interpersonal relationships, academic and career success, and were more likely to be self-sufficient compared to those without chores or those who started them as a teenager. Here are a few age-appropriate chores to help your kids take on more responsibilities as they get older:

Ages 2–4 • Help make their beds • Clean up toys • Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket • Dust easy-to-reach places • Help clean up spills with supervision • Bring plastic utensils to the table Ages 5–7 • Feed and water pets • Put away light groceries • Empty indoor trash cans • Sweep and mop floors with supervision • Water plants • Set the table for dinner Ages 8–10 • Keep bedroom clean • Fold and put away laundry • Vacuum carpets • Change sheets on bed regularly • Bring trash cans out to curb on trash day • Help with lawn work (pulling weeds, raking leaves, etc.)

At our house, Madge has her own chores to do, such as cleaning her room, feeding the dog, helping load the dishwasher and put up plates when they’re clean, pick up sticks and limbs in the yard, help take out the trash, and — I’m sure she would say — the list goes on and on. I know Madge thinks she’s got it bad, but let me add a few from the long list that Big George had for me when I was a kid. Let’s see ... run the cows out of the rye field (no matter how cold or rainy it was), load square hay bales during the summer, feed the cows (first square bales at the barn and then round bales with a tractor when I was older), mow the yard (a job that takes 24 hours on a tractor with a 6-foot mower) and finally, when he couldn’t think of anything else for me to do, take an axe and cut the pine tree roots out of the driveway and the road to the farm! You know, the older I get, the more I appreciate the chores that I had as a kid. Even though I would often complain about being “slave labor,” some of the best times I can remember were spent doing chores and being supervised by my dad. Good times! —George

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