Helping Children Take Responsibility for Household Chores


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A new year is often a time for families to set new goals and make personal improvements. Many parents wonder how to identify a good time for their children to begin taking responsibility for their personal spaces (bedrooms and playrooms) and helping out with general family chores.

The key to understanding how and when to ask children to participate in household chores lies in understanding this aspect of development. With this understanding, coupled with your sense of your child’s unique strengths and struggles, you will be in a better position to help your child become a more responsible and helpful member of the family.

Understanding Development

Skills and competencies don’t typically show up overnight. Usually, skills develop over time. In the same way a child gradually takes on self-care tasks, such as eating or dressing, a child also gradually develops independence in other areas.

Doing Things for a Child

Early in a child’s development, parents or caretakers do just about everything for their child. We certainly wouldn’t ask or expect an infant to straighten his or her crib blanket or fold his or her clothes. In the early stages of life, parents play an important part in modeling family values, in relation to caring for personal belongings and keeping the home tidy and organized. While children are not actively participating, they observe and take in a parent’s investment in these tasks.

Doing Things Together

Over time, a child may willingly join his or her parent or caretaker in carrying out household tasks such as picking up toys; putting dishes away; or caring for the washing, folding and putting away of clothing. A similar shift takes place in the area of self-care. A child might get dressed, for example, doing what he or she is capable of and relying on a parent for assistance. Parents can begin to set aside tasks they know their child will be able to complete with their guidance, such as putting toys in a basket or hanging clothing in easy-to-reach places.

Doing Things for One’s Self

Eventually, a child is ready to carry out these same tasks on his or her own. In the initial stages, a parent might help the child get started and then say he or she will check in on the child’s progress after a little while. Children do especially well when parents are close enough to show their admiration. As with all aspects of development, the need for admiration and praise will gradually be replaced with the child’s intrinsic sense of pride in having completed important household tasks for the family’s sake.

When There Are Problems

Some parents may find that this gradual approach isn’t helpful and that a child’s resistance to developing independence is stronger than his or her desire to follow directions or please Mom and Dad. In such cases, it may be helpful to examine whether there are other struggles in the child’s life. Do similar issues come up at school or during homework sessions? Does the child have trouble sleeping at night or developing relationships with peers? When there are pervasive and widespread challenges, a qualified health care professional’s guidance may be helpful in determining reasons for this behavior, as well as effective interventions specific to the child’s emotional needs.


The Lucy Daniels Center is a nonprofit agency in Cary that promotes the emotional health and well-being of children and families. Visit lucydanielscenter.org to learn more.

 

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Calendar

April 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
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5900 Whittier Drive
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Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
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210 Moss St.
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Indian Creek K9 Aquatics
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Sponsor: DockDogs World
Telephone: 919-414-0035
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
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Wallace Parking deck
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301 Pogue St.
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Cost: $7/resident, $10/nonresident

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Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

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Raleigh Little Theater
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Whole Foods Market (North Raleigh)
8710 Six Forks Road
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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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Where:
Bond Park
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown Wilson
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Telephone: 1-708-271-3042
Contact Name: Jerome De Perlinghi
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More information

Children with special needs and their families enjoy an afternoon of boating. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course #111595.

Cost: $7/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Historic Downtown Wilson
210 Moss St.
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Telephone: 1-708-271-3042
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Cost: Free

Where:
Chatham Marketplace
480 Hillsboro St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Sponsor: Chatham Marketplace
Telephone: 919-542-2643
Contact Name: Craig Kolman
Website »

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Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Kennedy Theatre
2 E. South St.
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Cost: Free

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Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
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Cost: $7/resident, $10/nonresident

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Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: Free

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Piedmont Wildlife Center
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Telephone: 919-489-0900
Contact Name: Noelle Dalhouse
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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
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Telephone: 919-462-3970
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Cost: Free

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Cost: $17/adult, $6/child

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North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown Wilson
210 Moss St.
Wilson, NC  27893
View map »


Telephone: 1-708-271-3042
Contact Name: Jerome De Perlinghi
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Elks Lodge $735
5538 Lead Mine Rd
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Contact Name: Robin Santos
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Cost: $7/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
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View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Contact Name: Ashley Martin
Website »

More information

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Cost: $18 and up

Where:
Meymandi Concert Hall
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

More information

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Show Less...

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Cost: $17/adult, $6/child

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North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Cost: Free

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5581 Harward Lane
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Holding Village
S. Franklin Street
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Sponsor: ElectriCities of North Carolina
Telephone: 919-760-6000
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Downtown Wilson
210 Moss St.
Wilson, NC  27893
View map »


Telephone: 1-708-271-3042
Contact Name: Jerome De Perlinghi
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
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Cost: $21-$33

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Cost: $30-$35

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1415 W. Hwy 54, Suite 211
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Elks Lodge $735
5538 Lead Mine Rd
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View map »


Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Contact Name: Robin Santos
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

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Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Contact Name: Lisa Richardson
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Website »

More information

Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $20-$30

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Powell Elementary School
1130 Marlborough Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: PAGE of Wake County
Contact Name: Suzy Wang
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Cost: $55/child

Where:
SMILE Camp
6301 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: SMILE Camp
Telephone: 919-538-5278
Contact Name: Sheila Marsh
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Cost: Free

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Pullen Park
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Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
The Studio School of Durham
1201 W. Woodcroft Pkwy.
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Sponsor: The Studio School of Durham
Telephone: 19199672700 x3
Contact Name: Danielle Clark
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Woodcroft Swim and Tennis Club
1203 W. Woodcroft Parkway
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Telephone: 919-489-7705
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Age 6 & under free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Bible Fellowship
9043 Chapel Hill Road
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Bible Fellowship
Telephone: 919-468-4590
Website »

More information

Search for salamanders, frogs, snakes, turtles and more with preserve staff. Ages 10-13. Register online.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Alice is a texting, tweeting and googling girl of the digital era, but she finds herself in the Wonderland of old. Lewis Carroll's original tale is transformed into a modern adaptation...

Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theater
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $9/member, $10/nonmember

Where:
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100 Old Mason Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Sponsor: North Carolina Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3770
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Become a scientist for a day. Collect data from bluebird boxes for NestWatch, investigate the different species of birds that use our nest boxes, and see nests and eggs up...

Cost: $2/person

Where:
Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
2900 Horse Shoe Farm Rd
Wake Forest, NC
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Come alongside Huckleberry Finn and his friend Tom Sawyer as they find themselves knee-deep in adventure, shenanigans and Mississippi mud. This show features a variety of audience...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Kennedy Theatre
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

Cost: $10/boat

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-5638
Contact Name: Bianca Garner
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Children with special needs and their families enjoy an afternoon of boating. Ages 11 and older. Register online. Choose course #111595.

Cost: $7/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Come alongside Huckleberry Finn and his friend Tom Sawyer as they find themselves knee-deep in adventure, shenanigans and Mississippi mud. This show features a variety of audience...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Kennedy Theatre
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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Many animals are active around sunset or shortly afterward. Take a walk with a park naturalist to explore the woods and fields at this special time of day. Look for deer, coyotes and owls. All...

Cost: $3 for ages 4 and up

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our debut Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.