There has been a decline in the expectation from kids to do household chores recently. Parents do not assign household chores to children because the children are so over-scheduled in terms of school work that they aren’t left with any time. In addition to that many parents want to preserve the childhood for as long as possible by not assigning them household chores.
Despite these concerns, giving your child chores may be one of the most important things you'll ever do. By allowing our kids to forgo chores, we often undervalue what they are capable of doing. Chores help children learn important skills for the future. They learn how to take care of not only a household but themselves as well. They also learn valued skills that may come in handy in their adult life e.g. Importance of time management, preparation, organisation and teamwork.
Benefits of chores
Children who perform household chores:
- Learn how to manage time.
- Learn responsibility and self-reliance.
- Appreciate the perks of organisation.
- Develop better planning abilities.
- Learn teamwork.
- Develop a strong work ethic.
- Become more accountable.
- Learn valuable skills such as patience, persistence, teamwork.
- Gain an appreciation and understanding of managing money.
- Gain a sense of both purpose and accomplishment.
- Make parent’s lives easier.
- Develop improved fine and gross motor skills.
- Learn empathy since chores reinforce the respect and appreciation for all the hard work parents do.
- Are provided with a chance to bond with the family when performing shared tasks.
Age-appropriate chores for children
Chores for Children Aged 2-3
- Pick up their toys and books
- Help feed any pets or fill up their water bowl.
- Put laundry in the hamper in their room
- Assist in setting up table
- Help with cleaning up after dinner
Chores for Children Aged 3-5
- Set and help clear the table with supervision
- Help put away groceries
- Dust the shelves
- Feed any pets or fill up their water bowl.
- Put their dirty clothes in the hamper
- Bring in the mail
- Help carry groceries
- Sort the laundry by colour
- Brush their teeth (with supervision when younger)
- Brush their hair
- Get dressed
- Pick up their toys and books
- Pack their backpack.
Chores for Children Aged 5-8
- Take out the trash
- Help vacuum and mop floors
- Fold and put away laundry
- Empty the dishwasher
- Set the table
- Help prepare food with supervision
- Water the plants
- Change the toilet paper roll
- Choose their outfits and get dressed
- Make their bed
- Tidy their room
- Make a small snack
- Pack & Unpack their backpack
Chores for Children Aged 8-12
- Wash dishes and load the dishwasher
- Clean the bathroom
- Operate the washer and dryer for laundry
- Help with meal preparation
- Hang, fold and put away laundry
- Clean their bedroom every day.
- Set an alarm clock and be responsible for waking-up by themselves
- Get ready for school themselves
- Walk and feed the pets
- Put the groceries away
- Do simple cleaning tasks
- Water plants & garden
- Wash the car with supervision
- Take out the garbage
- Help with younger siblings.
Chores for teenagers
- Babysit siblings
- Cook meals on their own
- Pick siblings up from school and activities
- Run errands for parents
- Bring groceries
Tips to make chores more successful
- Start Early
The earlier you start assigning chores the more used to children will become of performing them.
- Give clear Instructions
Tell them how to do everything clearly and specify steps to take.
- Encourage and praise them
Offer plenty of praise while your children are performing their chores and afterwards.
- Don’t expect them to do everything perfectly
Supervise your child first at first, and teach them how to perform specific tasks. Then let them do the chores on their own without expecting perfection in every task.
- Don’t take over their chores for them
Children will start thinking that the parents will just end up doing the chores hence they won’t complete them.
- Reward them
The reward doesn’t have to be in the form of money it can be reward charts for every person in the household, and the person with the most points at the end of each month gets a gift or a day off from chores.