When kids help with household chores, the benefits are far greater than it might seem at first glance. In addition to learning the proper way to load the dishwasher or sort laundry, being given age-appropriate responsibilities around the house helps kids become more confident and self-assured adults. Here are some helpful tips parents can use to teach kids the importance of taking part in household duties.
Make Them Non-Negotiable
Just like parents have to make sure that tasks like grocery shopping, meal preparation and other chores are done, kids of all ages should have a few non-negotiable tasks they must accomplish each week. Even though the actual chores assigned to each child may only take minutes per day, these tasks help teach kids life skills, such as time management, responsibility and accountability, which in turn make them better able to succeed with larger obligations, later in their lives.
Parents can assist kids with this by insisting that the assigned chores are completed before voluntary or recreational activities are allowed. Create a calendar or chart that lists the daily assignments, and teach kids to check it daily and mark off tasks as they are completed.
Many parents choose to hold scheduled chore times such as thirty minutes after dinner or one hour on Saturday morning when the whole family works together to complete necessary household and lawn care tasks.
Make Sure Chores are Age & Skill Appropriate
While kids should never be tasked with chores beyond their physical or mental capabilities, most kids enjoy being given greater responsibilities as their skill levels increase. Here is a list of kid chores by there age group to get you started:
- Toddlers through age 4: This age group loves to follow older siblings and parents around and imitate their actions. Folding washcloths, wiping surfaces and picking up toys are great first chores for this age group.
- Ages 5 through 7: Motor skills and agility are more developed in this group, making them well-suited at matching socks, folding towels and t-shirts, making their beds and doing simple cooking chores, such as stirring cookie dough, washing vegetables and making sandwiches.
- Ages 8 through 10: This group is excited to learn and becoming more responsible. Good task options for them include loading and unloading the dishwasher, pet care, weeding the garden or flower beds, setting the table and more advanced cooking skills such as peeling carrots and potatoes and assembling salads.
- Ages 10 through 12: This group has a more developed maturity level and better problem solving skills as well more physical strength. They are well suited for vacuuming, operating the dishwasher, washer and dryer and taking out trash and putting away groceries.
- Teenagers: These soon-to-be adults have the skills and maturity to handle many of the same daily household responsibilities as their parents, such as cooking, lawn care, cleaning bathrooms, washing floors and changing sheets.