Every household has chores that need doing, and involving children to get them done is a great way of making our kids active contributors to helping our homes run more efficiently.
When we encourage our kids to help around the house, we do more than just make sure all everyday chores are done. Having kids do chores and holding them accountable for carrying them out help them develop a sense of responsibility. On top of that, children are bound to learn individual skills in the course of performing those chores, and those skills are going to serve them well when they enter adulthood.
As parents, we want a lot of things for our kids, but ultimately, all we ever want them to be is to become independent, successful and happy adults. And if we are to believe the findings of several studies, children who grew up in a home where they did chores tend to fare better when they grow up and lead lives of their own.
Assign chores appropriate for their age
It’s never too early for your kids to learn responsibility by doing chores. Of course, your chore assignment should be age-appropriate. To give you an idea which types of chores are right for your kid’s age, check out the list below:
For 2 to 3-year-old toddlers:
Picking up after themselves, their toys in particular
Making their beds with supervision
Putting laundry in the hamper
For 4-5-year-old preschoolers:
Feeding and watering pets
Setting and clearing dining table with supervision
Handing you wet clothes for hanging to dry
Sorting fresh laundry by color
Supervised dusting of picture frames, tables, shelves
Straightening and fluffing throw pillows
Assisting in cleaning their rooms
Helping with lighter groceries
For school-age children 6-8-years-old:
Supervised help in preparing food
Emptying indoor trash bins
Folding fresh laundry and putting them in closets and drawers
Dusting and mopping rooms
Taking dishes out of the dishwasher
Answering the phone with supervision
For 9-12-year-old tweens:
Taking out the trash for pick-up
Keeping their bedroom clean
Preparing easy meals such as cereals
Helping clean the bathroom and kitchen
Walking the dog
Helping wash the car
Putting groceries in designated places
Peeling potatoes and other vegetables
Changing bed sheets
For teenagers, aged 13 and older:
Changing light bulbs
Mowing the lawn
Babysit younger siblings
Doing the laundry
Once they reach legal driving age, wash and maintain the car they’re driving
A few reminders
In all honesty, not all kids are too keen on doing chores. However, if you’re bent on getting them to do their chores to teach them responsibility and prepare for them adulthood, you need to be at least relaxed in your approach in making your kids do chores. Don’t expect them to do their tasks perfectly, or pressure them into doing so. And always show them how it’s done. Leading and teaching by example is always an ideal approach when it comes to kids and chores.
Sometimes, however, you need to motivate your kids to do their chores, and more often than not, providing rewards works. Sure, you can always find ways to make chores fun for them, like doing those chores with them or playing their favorite music while doing it, but whether we like it or not, monetary rewards talk, especially among tweens and teenagers.
If you decide to take the money route, then you need to assign certain chores and set an allowance which they’ll receive once all tasks are done for the week. And if you have concerns about giving them money for doing their chores, just think of the allowance as a way to teach them how to manage their money. Encourage them to save the money up for something they’d like to have or do.
With your kids learning to save and handle their hard-earned money at such an early age, you can rest assured that they’ll do just fine when they enter adulthood.
About the Author
Samantha Green is the Content Marketing Strategist for BusyKid, the first and only chore and allowance platform where kids can earn, save, share, spend, and invest their allowance. A mom of two, she enjoys spending time with her kids and reading books to them.