Parents can relieve a lot of their daily stress by having their kids pitch in. Even the youngest child can begin to contribute her time and efforts to care for the family nest. Children learn life skills by pitching in on the daily household chores. They learn about responsibility and teamwork. And in the process of doing chores they also begin to internalize values like self-reliance and self-worth.

Begin when your child is young, while she is still eager and underfoot as you navigate domestic duties. Instead of shooing your toddler away engage her by asking her to help you. For example, rinsing out the tub with a plastic cup of water after a bath. Think small and simple.

When teaching your child household tasks model how to do chores correctly, encourage her to participate, and possibly provide a lesson. Here are some ideas for different age groups:

Preschool Ages

1. Matching Socks

A child as young as two or three can help you with laundry. In the process they also get to learn about size, color and pattern.

2. Picking Up Toys

Set the timer or turn on a short happy tune to encourage your child to put the toys back where they belong. Reward? Time with you or another activity of their choosing.

3. Tearing Lettuce for a Salad

Little ones are tactile learners, working on their fine motor skills. Challenge them to a lettuce tear-up. They'll be more likely to try the finished salad once they've helped to create it.

4. Dusting

Little ones can dust the lower shelves and tabletops. Be sure to move any breakables or heavy objects ahead of time. Do this one with them, but you take the higher shelves and hard to reach spots.

5. Making Beds

A young child is capable of fluffing their pillow and pulling the duvet or coverlet over the bed. Encourage your child to place a favorite lovey on top of the pillow to wait for her return.

6. Carrying Dishes to the Sink

Plastic dishes and utensils are easy and safe to carry and deposit into the sink or into your gentle hands.

7. Helping with Dishes

Get a footstool and let your little one help you with dishes. It's a fun sensory experience for both of you.

Elementary Ages and Older

8. Sweeping/Mopping Floors

People love hardwoods, but they need to be maintained. Add a pet or two and regular sweeping and mopping is a necessity.

9. Vacuuming

My youngest loves to vacuum, so much that I didn't get to use the new vacuum for weeks. For safety you should be the one that moves the vacuum from floor to floor if you have multiple levels in your home. Instruct your child how to properly put a plug into and pull it out of a wall socket.

10. Cleaning Bathrooms

It's truly amazing how much cleaner a bathroom stays when kids clean their own. Consider organic cleaners, such as vinegar and baking soda, for safety.

11. Food Preparation

Kids can begin measuring and mixing ingredients when quite young. I supervised my children when they cut up vegetables, fruit, and meat for recipes. Be sure to talk about germs, hand washing, and cross-contamination.

12. Making Meals

Build on the foundation of food preparation. Leaf through recipe books with your child to instill excitement about creating a recipe. It's all about math and science. And she gets to enjoy and share the food she's made.

13. Trash Collection

Trash collection was taught by partnering in our home. Younger or smaller kids may not be able to tie bags or maneuver large trashcans to the street for pickup. Partner with your child until she is able to safely do so.

14. Taking Care of Pets

Pets need a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Sometimes this is difficult within a busy family. Introduce the care of pets slowly, and supervise your child until she can do these tasks safely by herself

Handing over some of your responsibilities will help get the jobs done faster, and build your child's confidence.