Parenting Tips & Topics: Age Appropriate Chores



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  • Chores help children learn that the family works together to run smoothly
  • Chores also teach responsibility in gradual and often fun ways
  • Chores help children practice small skills that they will need in life
  • You can start with 1-2 behaviors which your child can simply help you do
  • Young children often enjoy “helping” their parents as they clean or cook
  • For example, toddlers as young as 2 can help their parent with putting clothes in/out of hamper
  • Children may enjoy picking from a list of chores each week
  • Completing chores/tasks helps develop a sense of pride and satisfaction


As a family of four with two children under the age of six, there are always chores to be done. My daughters (ages 2 and 5) help with a number of small tasks around our home. Their help is often prompted and afterward given lots of praise, which they LOVE!

One of the first chores they started to help me with was taking the clean laundry from the dryer to the bed/sofa to be folded. Now they assist with some folding, sorting clean and dirty clothes, and putting away clothing in their drawers. Another chore they help with is cleaning up after activities by putting toys and materials away. My girls together feed our two small dogs in the evening and recently they have started to clear unbreakable items from the dining table after meals. We also include frequent opportunities to be a “helper” when the occasions arise, such as helping with bathing the dogs, cleaning cars, putting away groceries, and making dinner.

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Parenting Tips & Topics: Strategies & Techniques from Two Psychologists

We are thrilled to add a new “Psych Corner” to our blog! Our new series will be called “Parenting Tips & Topics: Strategies & Techniques from Two Psychologists.” This series will feature content from two of our licensed psychologists in our Developmental Pediatrics Department, Dr. Margaret T. Dempsey, PH.D. and Dr. Tracy L. Harrington, PH.D.



Director of Psychology Licensed Psychologist

Margaret Dempsey, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who joined the Child Study Center in 2007. She graduated with her doctoral degree in School Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Dempsey completed her internship year in the Pediatric Psychology program at Michigan State University. Afterwards, she was an assistant professor at Tulane University for five years. Her work at the Child Study Center focuses on the evaluation and treatment for children and adolescents with learning disabilities, attention difficulties, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Dempsey has also provided clinical supervision for pre-and post-doctoral students.

Dr. Dempsey is a 2014 WPS 65th Anniversary Unlocking Potential Award recipient. She was recognized not only for her fifteen years of service to children and families in North Texas, but also for her high degree of professionalism, highly individualized approach to testing and treatment planning, constant pursuit of up-to-date measures and testing procedures and for her unwavering dedication to her clients.


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Licensed Psychologist Tracy Harrington, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who joined the Child Study Center in 2009. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Oklahoma State University and her Master of Arts degree and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Tulsa. Dr. Harrington completed her child and pediatric clinical internship and a one year fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her training sites included the Civitan-Sparks Interdisciplinary Clinics, a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) and University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities training site (UCEDD), and Children’s of Alabama. While in graduate school, Dr. Harrington was awarded the Scientist Practitioner Award in recognition of her work in meeting the ideas of the scientist practitioner model of psychology training and practice. Dr. Harrington’s work at the Child Study Center primarily includes the evaluation and treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, learning differences, attention difficulties, disruptive disorders, and mild mood issues. She enjoys providing evidence based therapy to families, such as behavior management training, to parents of young children with disruptive behaviors. Dr. Harrington regularly works with students and families from the Jane Justin School and the Autism Services program. In addition, she provides psychological consultative services to Developmental Pediatrics and to the Genetic Down Syndrome Clinic.


Future topics will include:

  • Age Appropriate Chores
  • Screen Time
  • Effective Time Outs
  • Giving Effective Commands
  • Behavior Charts

Stay tuned for more!



Why bribing your child doesn’t work.

 The very idea of rewarding children for good behavior rubs a lot of adults the wrong way. Even when they accept that positive reinforcement changes behavior a lot more effectively than punishment does, they still object to using rewards in general and specifically for behaviors one ought to expect as a matter of course from a child. They just can’t bring themselves to praise a 7-year-old and give her points on a point chart or a little prize because she didn’t throw a tantrum in the supermarket.
Read the full article by Slate here