With children back at school and parents at work, finding the balance between work and household chores can make the difference between a happy or strained family. The comforting news is that by enlisting your children's help, chores will teach children about hard work and responsibility – a valuable lesson in life according to the professional domestic cleaning company, MOLLY MAID.

At home, children are always watching the actions of others – particularly their parents and siblings. By setting examples, you can help establish a foundation for responsible and helpful children who, at the same time, take some weight off your shoulders! Try these top five tips to help you strike that balance.

1. Involve the whole family. Approach chores as a family team, and you may be pleased to find that your little ones want to get involved! Include your child in conversations about setting goals, teamwork, and what it means to be a part of a family – even little ones enjoy having a say.

2. Focus on interests. If your child shows interest in the kitchen, enlist their help with making supper or setting the table. Start with basic, simple tasks, like folding the napkins in half or adding ingredients to a big bowl of salad. By incorporating their interests, you can make helping fun.

3. Talk it through. Take baby steps when first introducing chores to younger children. Start by teaching a specific task in steps. Be careful not to overwhelm young children with too much information.

4. Chose age-appropriate tasks. Take your child's age into consideration when enlisting help with household chores. It is not only important to recognize which chores are realistic in terms of their abilities, it is also important not to ask your child to take on too much which can lead to frustration. Avoid re-doing the task; accept that the child has done it, so they develop a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

5. Offer specific feedback and appreciation. Acknowledging a job well done will give your child the needed encouragement and a sense of satisfaction. By recognizing the contribution to the family, you are teaching your child the value of hard work and responsibility.  In the end, he or she will feel helpful and important and your load will feel lighter!

MOLLY MAID, the professional house cleaners, suggests that children may enjoy undertaking some of the below tasks, perhaps set as challenges, depending on their ability:

  • Setting and clearing the table
  • Dusting and tidying tasks
  • Loading and unloading the dishwasher 
  • Emptying the garbage and compost bin
  • Sorting laundry for washing, taking it out & putting it away
  • Making their beds
  • Feed the family pets and clean up after them, if necessary 

By delegating the tasks, you will feel less stressed and have more time to spend with the family.