Asking your children to do chores doesn't make you the Miss Hannigan of the house -- quite the opposite in fact. Assigning chores to your kids helps them learn responsibility and that life's messes aren't going to clean themselves. It also gives you, as a parent, an opportunity to act as teacher and role model to your child. And let's be honest, it helps you out if you have some help with the cleaning. But not all chores are appropriate for all kids. Some are too complicated and others are simply too dangerous for your children. You don't want them on a step ladder cleaning the ceiling fan blades. The good news is that kids are never too young to learn the value of tidying up. As soon as your child can walk and talk, they can learn to put their toys back where they should go. Simply putting toys in the toy bin is a good first step for teaching chores.
As your children grow, they can help you tackle chores in the kitchen like setting the table or helping to clear dinner and do dishes. The key is to participate along with your kids. You'll get a lot more help if you act as teacher and co-cleaner instead of just assigning them tasks and sending them off. As they venture into their teenage years, you can leave them to their own tasks with lighter supervision. Yard work like grass cutting and leaf raking are some other good teenage chores that most parents are glad to relinquish, but doing these things alongside your kids can be a good chance to bond with busy teenagers. If you started early, your teenager should have a good understanding of the value of a clean and organized home. This doesn't mean that it's his first priority, but if he's been active in the household chores his whole life, it will be easier to get help later on.