Ask Ms. Magnolia
Letters have been edited for length and clarity.
Dear Ms. Magnolia, I have 3 kids and we are all home right now with the pandemic thing, so the house stays in a real mess. When they were gone to school, I had some time to clean up a bit when I got home from work, but now it just seems impossible to get things straightened up. I’d appreciate any ideas. Frazzled
Dear Frazzled, Giving your children chores may be one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Kids who do chores learn responsibility and gain important life skills that they will need throughout their lives.
Preschool and elementary children can make their beds, pick up and put away clothes, pick up their toys each day, put their dishes away after a meal. A chart with stickers for each chore can motivate them.
Older school age children should pick up after themselves, make their beds, clean their rooms, help with household chores, take out the trash, wash the car, and also help the entire family, especially the younger children. They should be encouraged and thanked for their efforts. You may decide this is the time to begin giving a small weekly allowance.
Teenagers need to prepare for the real world by preparing meals, cleaning bathrooms, mowing the lawn, or doing laundry. Teens are capable of doing practically any chore that adults can do, but they need patient direction and guidance and should be monitored and taught to do work well. A weekly allowance motivates teens but also teaches them to manage money. Don’t give loans and don’t give money if your teen hasn’t earned it.
If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to email@example.com.