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- to 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
- Folding towels
- 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- to 8-years-old:
- Supervised help in preparing food
- Watering plants
- 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- to 12-year-old tweens:
- Washing dishes
- Taking out the trash for pick-up
- Keeping their bedroom clean
- Preparing easy meals such as cereals
- Raking leaves
- Helping clean the bathroom and kitchen
- Walking the dog
- Helping wash the car
- Putting groceries in designated places
- Peeling potatoes and other vegetables
- Washing windows
- Changing bed sheets
For teenagers 13 years old and older:
- Preparing dinner
- 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 relaxed in your approach. Don’t expect them to do their tasks perfectly, or pressure them into doing so. And always show them how it’s done.
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. An allowance is a great way to teach them how to manage their finances. 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.