Kids should be doing chores at 18 months says expert!

20 March 2018, 18:13 | Updated: 7 June 2018, 17:00

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Parents should be encouraging their children to do more chores around the house, claims a youth development expert.

Research from a new study has found that kids aren't doing chores even though their parents were expected to help with household duties when they were younger.

The poll found that only 28 percent of American parents give their children a list of chores but expert Dr Gilboa has advised that even toddlers should be familiar with housework as it raises them to be "problem solvers of good character."

According to the American child development specialist, 18 months to 3-years-old is a prime time to introduce children to small tasks such as sweeping with a dustpan and brush, as this is the stage in their life where they're keen to exercise their budding independence. 

“This is the ‘me do it myself!’ age, so take advantage of it!” Gilboa says. “You'll rarely need to ask a preschooler twice if they'd like to do a big-kid job for you."

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Eventually you should be working your children up to bigger tasks, and Gilboa claims children should be able to do their own laundry by the time they are 8-years-old.

While this might sound a little premature for some parents, she argues that children are perfectly capable and claims her own son is an expert sorting out his own washing. 

So why are parents so hesitant to give their children chores?

Apparently it's all part of a new phenomenon called "The Expectation Gap" where parents believe their kids are far too busy with homework and extra curricular activities to make time for household duties.


If you're fed up of the constant nagging, Gilboa says repetition is key if you want it to become part of their routine, as weekly chores are less likely to get done.

"Once a week seems easier, but actually building habits is easier if something needs to get done every day. So a repetitive kitchen chore or pet care can be a great choice," she said.

By the time your kids are between 9 and 11-years-old  they should be able to "tackle multi-step projects" and when they are teenagers they be little chefs around the house.

She explained: "They can certainly handle making dinner for the whole family once a week or tackling larger projects around the house."

It might sound harsh but it will all help to make them responsible adults by the timethey're ready to head off to university!