Are Your Kids Too Young For Chores? (Spoiler Alert: Nope!)

Everyone in the family contributes to creating the mess, so why are we as parents so quick to take on the task of tidying it all up on our own? From washing the dishes, to folding the laundry, to vacuuming and sweeping the floors, the household chores should be shared, and if you think your child may be too young to chip in – think again.

Kids Chores

While it may seem easier to do it yourself than to encourage your children to help out around the house, there are actually many benefits associated with giving your children chores. It teaches them accountability, responsibility, and independence. It teaches them how to cooperate, participate as a family, and it equips them with important life skills that will help them to succeed in the future. Plus, more helping hands equals a cleaner house – quicker!

To help you get started, here are some chores you can assign to your children based on age:*

Chores for children ages 2 to 3:

  • Put toys away
  • Fill pet’s food dish
  • Put clothes in hamper
  • Wipe up spills
  • Dust
  • Pile books and magazines

Related: How To Encourage Your Kids To Enjoy Reading

Chores for children ages 4 to 5:

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Make their bed
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Bring in mail or newspaper
  • Clear table
  • Pull weeds, if you have a garden
  • Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs
  • Water flowers
  • Unload utensils from dishwasher
  • Wash plastic dishes at sink
  • Fix bowl of cereal

Chores for children ages 6 to 7:

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Sort laundry
  • Sweep floors
  • Set and clear table
  • Help make and pack lunch
  • Weed and rake leaves
  • Keep bedroom tidy

Kids Chores

Chores for children ages 8 to 9:

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Load dishwasher
  • Put away groceries
  • Vacuum
  • Help make dinner
  • Make own snacks
  • Wash table after meals
  • Put away own laundry
  • Sew buttons
  • Make own breakfast
  • Peel vegetables
  • Cook simple foods, such as toast
  • Mop floor
  • Take pet for a walk

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Unload dishwasher
  • Fold laundry
  • Clean bathroom
  • Wash windows
  • Wash car
  • Cook simple meal with supervision
  • Iron clothes
  • Do laundry
  • Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home)
  • Clean kitchen
  • Change their bed sheets

* Source: WebMD Divide and Conquer Household Chores

Some parents choose to reward their children with an allowance for completing their chores, while others make chores mandatory for every member of the family. Regardless of how you choose to do it, it’s time to start getting them to chip in now,  so cleaning can become less of a one-person chore, and your family can enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, happier home.

Our latest issue is all about education, including stories on how to beat the homework battle with your kids featuring some great tips from contributor Michele Kambolis. Pick up a copy at a location near you, or read the full issue online now!

Develop Baby’s Hearing and Speech

Children’s Hearing & Speech Centre of BC (est. 1963) is providing tips to parents to help support listening and spoken language development in babies and children as part of Better Hearing and Speech month. The strategies are critical for children who have hearing loss, which the Centre serves, but also support academic and social/emotional development in typically hearing children.

“Children learn to speak by hearing language,” said Janet Weil, Executive Director and Principal of Children’s Hearing & Speech Centre of BC. “All parents – whether their children have typical hearing, are hard of hearing, or are deaf – can help their children learn to listen and speak by incorporating simple, but intentional activities into their daily household routines.”

To support listening skills and spoken language development, parents are encouraged to:

Get their baby’s hearing checked.
All babies born in BC are entitled to a hearing test soon after birth. Children are also offered a hearing screening in their kindergarten year. For more information, visit HealthLinkBC.
Promote literacy.
Read aloud to your child. Aim to read five books with your child each day. (Children with hearing loss should read between 15 and 20 books with an adult every day.) Read books, street signs, logos, look at the numbers and letters on license plates. Tell stories without books.
Turn off the TV or radio.
Minimize background noise. Little brains are trying to gather information, but it’s much too confusing to have to learn language when there is competing noise.
Sing with your child!
There is a part of our brain that remembers language through music. Sing to your baby about everything you are doing –with repetition and joy! Play music to dance to, sing along to, make music with instruments and handmade instruments. Copy rhythms and beats. Sing, sing, sing.
Use your words.
Talk about what you are doing and seeing and what your child is doing and seeing. Stretch your child’s language with lots of vocabulary and complex sentence structure.

Children’s Hearing & Speech Centre of BC is the only independent school of its kind in Western Canada and one of three in Canada that teaches children who are deaf and hard of hearing to listen and to speak. Through advances in technology and education, children are learning to speak for themselves and fully participate in the hearing world without the use of sign language.

Mortgage Tips for Families

We all know the real estate industry is hot here in Vancouver, and for many, getting into the housing market can be a pipe dream. With tightening government and lending regulations, historically low interest rates and soaring housing prices, it can be a daunting endeavor for anyone.

Whether you are a first time home buyer, wanting to upsize to accommodate your growing family or purchasing an investment property, these are the factors that lenders will be looking at and will determine which mortgage type and interest rate will be available to you.

Know Your 5C’s:

Collateral- The property that you are hoping to purchase.

Capital -Where is your down payment coming from? At a minimum you need 5% down for a “high ratio” insured mortgage or a “conventional” mortgage with 20% down. This money can come from your own resources or can be gifted from a family member. Requirements will vary so make sure to check with your mortgage professional.

Credit– Do you have proven credit and show a good history of repayment?

CapacityThe most important by far! How are you going to pay for your mortgage? Proof of income and requirements differ depending on whether you are salaried, self- employed, paid hourly or somewhere in between!

Character– Are you a super person? This is the least important factor these days to most lenders.

Just as important to consider when deciding on your mortgage, is to determine your current financial situation and long term goals. This will help you decide which mortgage term (for example 5 years) and mortgage type (variable or fixed) is best suited to your current and future needs. Finally, don’t forget to discuss the FEATURES that come with your mortgage as this could save you thousands of dollars and potential grief over the term of the mortgage.

Mortgages are not a one size fits all so always make sure to contact a mortgage professional BEFORE preparing to find the home of your dreams.

by Jordan Thomson, Mortgage Professional, City Wide Mortgage Services, www.jordanthomson.ca | 604.725.1607

Earth Day-Take Public Transit!

Thanks to the new Earth Day Website, we’ve highlighted their public transit stats to help reduce your carbon footprint. One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day is to join your city’s “car pool”!

TAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT

Get out from behind the wheel and let someone else do the driving – take public transportation! Ridership is growing in cities across Canada. 36.5% of Toronto residents take public transit to work, the highest national rate. Other city stats are: Montreal 34.1%, Ottawa 22.5%, Vancouver 19.7%, Calgary 14.9% and Edmonton 11.0%.1.

Ride the Bus

● Buses on average take 57 cars off the road and thus greatly reduce GHG emissions.
● Canadians can claim one of the world’s first rapid bus transit systems in Ottawa, Ontario2.
● 1.17 million people took the bus to work in Canada in 2011.

Take the Train or Subway

● Rail based transit produces two to four times less emissions than road based transit.
● Taking the subway reduces GHG emissions by about one sixth of the emissions from taking the car. Ride the Streetcar / LRT
● The Toronto subway opened in 1954, was the first in Canada.
● 460,000 people in Canada take the subway to work.
● Riding the street car to work every day reduces GHG emissions by about one tonne/year.
● Toronto Street Railway opened the first street railway line in Canada on September 11, 18612.
● Canada was the first to have a wind-powered light rail system in Calgary, Alberta.

Take Wheel-Trans

●  Wheel-trans works similarly to carpooling and has reduced GHG emissions when compared to driving a car.
●  Specialized transit providers carry almost 12 million passengers each year in Canada.