Household chores are never too fun to complete, and parents would benefit a lot from the help of other family members. Yet, it is not always easy to convince your kids to get involved.
Teaching them to keep the home clean and tidy will help them develop valuable life skills. It will boost their self-efficacy, independence, and confidence, and they will learn to take pride in the job that they’ve completed.
Moreover, parents will get more free time to spend with the rest of the family, and it will bring the family closer together.
Laura Clary, a leadership speaker, trainer, and consultant with a background in family life education and child development, says that it will instill leadership and show them that the entire family will benefit from their abilities:
“It also teaches them responsibility and supports their learning as they process size, location, colors, timing, and the process of how things work and are completed.”
According to Lythcott-Haims:
“By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life. It’s not just about me and what I need in this moment.
If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them, and so they’re absolved of not only the work but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the of the whole.”
Yet, it is important to pick age-appropriate chores, and have realistic expectations. If the assigned chore is too easy, they will get bored and uninterested, while in case it is too difficult, the kids might get frustrated and discouraged.
The following chart lists chores according to the age of your children, and here is a short description of it:
- Ages 2-3 can put their clothes in the hamper, put away their toys, wipe up the spills, dust safe areas, help in making their bed, stock books on the shelves, mop small areas, and full the food dish of the pet.
- If your child is 4-5-year old, you can ask him to sweep the floor, sort laundry, fold towels, set and clear the table, pack lunches, and help you unload the dishwasher.
- Children aged 6 or 7 can help you do things like keeping an eye on their younger siblings, sweeping out the garage, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, preparing simple meals, and doing laundry.
- A kid at the age of 8 and 9 is able to clear the table, make the beds, water the flowers, pull weeds in the garden, bring in the mail, and use a handheld vacuum.
- Older kids, aged 10 and 11, can vacuum, mop floors, put away laundry, walk their pets, load the dishwasher, and take out the trash.
- If your child is 12 or older, you can ask him to complete more complex chores, like washing the windows, painting the walls, changing light bulbs, doing a deep clean of the rooms, and undertaking simple home projects.
Remember that you need to be patient when you are teaching your child a new chore. Repeat the chore a few times in front of your child, and then have them complete it while you are there in case they have any questions.
Next, “allow the child to do the chore on their own.”
Psychologists claim that it would be best to start young. Toddlers are eager to help, and if you involve them at an early age, they will continue helping as they get older.
The University of New Hampshire’s Andrew Coppens adds:
“Early opportunities to collaborate with parents likely sets off a developmental trajectory that leads to children voluntarily helping and pitching in at home.”
Keep in mind that every child matures at a different pace, so adjust the chart to the skills and talents of your kid. Moreover, no child should do all the chores listed on a daily basis. The chart should serve as a guide only, as it reveals the chores many children in specific age ranges are capable of completing.
Let your kids perform the same chores for some time, but as they get better, introduce new chores at regular intervals.
Remind your kids that they are contributing to a common goal, and remember that getting them involved even when they complete a chore much slower than you, it will lead to countless benefits later on in life.