I always say to my children that you have chores because you are part of this family. As a family everyone should share in the workload. I truly believe that it is imperative to give children regular chores. This gives them responsibility and teaches them the life skills that they will one day need to live responsibly and run a household, wherever that may be.
Why Do Children Need to Have Chores?
Children need to have chores delegated to them so that they can learn to contribute to your family and so that they can learn skills to take care of themselves. Contributing in this way will teach your children self-discipline, give them pride in what they have accomplished, and build their confidence and self-esteem. It is easy for us to use chores as a form of discipline however the more that we do this the more they will view chores as punishment and look upon them negatively.
Should I Wait Until My Child is Older?
Children can begin doing simple chores at an early age. Most little ones love to help out in one way or another. Don’t discourage this. It is easier to have a little one set the table than wait until your child is a teen and ask them to start doing such tasks.
What Kind of Tasks Should I Give Them?
Your child(ren) should have daily chores or tasks that are expected everyday of them. That may be things like making their bed, putting together their lunch, tidying their room. Then there are the extra things that they may be able to help out with; larger tasks that help the family household out in one way or another. Make sure that when you begin assigning chores that they are things that help them to become more independent. Once they are independent with their own needs then they can assist in helping others.
Here are some ideas for age appropriate tasks. (Keeping in mind that you know what your child is capable of best!)
|PreschoolersGet dressedWash face and hands
Brush hair and teeth (may need assistance)
Pick up toys
Put clothes in clothes hamper
Help clean up messes
Set table (may need assistance with sharp objects and heavy plates)
Help dust (with duster not spray)
|Grade Two – Three (in addition)Take out garbage
Help put away groceries
Start washing dishes
|Kindergarten – Grade One (in addition)Hang up coats and put shoes away
Put away their things
Begin to make lunches with assistance
Help unload groceries out of bags
|Grade Three – Five (in addition)Vacuum rugs/carpets
Help with meals (gathering ingredients, stirring, adding, planning)
Help with grocery list making
|Grade One – Grade 2 (7ish) (in addition)Dry dishes
Help clean up after pets
Make own school lunch
Begin to put away own laundry
|Grade Five – Six (in addition)Learn how to do laundry
Wash mirrors, windows
Help clean the bathroom
Prepare simple meals and assist with more complex meals