How early should children be asked to contribute?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,836
    Parenting expert Dr. Rene Hackney talks about when your children should start contributing to activities around the house.

    Rene Hackney

    Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.

    For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide

    range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.

    Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.

    Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.

    Host: How early should children be asked to contribute?

    Rene Hackney: You should have children start helping out as young as 18 months old. I know that sounds really very young, they are still toddlers, but there are things they can do to be helping.

    Just asking if people are ready for dinner is helping in the dinner process. So, you give them really easy, really small jobs. Getting their wash clothes out when it s time for bath is a really small, really easy job and you can even start it by putting the wash clothes right on the sink and saying, Hey, can you bring the wash cloth to the tub? They only have to get them and carry them two feet, but the idea is that even young children then feel like they are part of the family process and they feel like they are contributing back. The earlier you start the easier this technique is to continue.