Age appropriate household chores
Doing household chores is more than just a way to keep your home clean and tidy. It is also a great way to teach kids life skills like budgeting and problem-solving. Having age-appropriate household chores encourages independence and responsibility and teaches children time management.
Parents need to recognize that even though the goal is to have the job done, it's more important for young children to learn why and how it's done. The process of completing tasks:
Encourages creativity for problem-solving when challenges arise.
Teaches life skills such as budgeting, problem-solving, and time management
Creates an atmosphere of collaboration within the family
Household chores can be tailored to suit your child's age and development level. This way, you can ensure your child has tasks appropriate to their physical, cognitive and social capabilities. Allowing children to participate in daily activities helps them develop a sense of belonging and creates a sense of purpose in their homes.
It's important to consider your child's abilities and level of development when deciding which chores to assign them.
Toddlers (ages 2–3): Helping with simple tasks like putting away toys or stacking groceries can help them learn about responsibility.
Preschoolers (ages 4–5): Little ones can help clean up after meals, dust low surfaces, and remove the trash.
School-Age Children (ages 6–12): Children in this age group can do cleaning tasks and assist in watering and caring for plants under supervision. They can also help with meal preparation and set the table for dinner.
Teens (ages 13–18): Teens can often take on more advanced cleaning tasks like laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and outdoor work. They can also be responsible for grocery shopping or running basic errands.
No matter their age, giving kids clear instructions and providing tools and praise when they complete a task is essential!
When it comes to assigning chores, there are a few critical do's and don'ts that you should consider.
Involve the child in deciding the chores to assign. This empowers them and motivates them to complete the task.
Make sure the chore is age and skill appropriate for the child.
Reward your child for completing their tasks with praise, hugs, and acknowledgement of their effort.
Make household cleaning into an activity that can be done together as a family, e.g., playing fun music while cleaning up or turning it into a game like guessing which toy belongs in what part of the house, etc.
Consistent when expecting your children to complete their chores will help them learn responsibility and accountability. It will also make them more likely to complete their tasks without reminders or complaints in the future.
Don't give children chores that involve potentially dangerous tools.
Don't be too ambitious with assigning big projects; start with something small like dusting or helping out in the garden instead so they can gain interest, experience, and confidence.
Don't micromanage every detail—give children a creative space to understand the task.
Don't make assigning chores a punishment. Chores should be seen as a way to build life skills and teach responsibility.
It's important to remember that assigning chores should be fun for kids. The process should be enjoyable and teach them important life skills.