In Parenting

Chores for Children

It is a good idea to start your child off with chores early on in their life. The sooner they start up with these chores, the easier it is going to be to ensure they continue with these tasks around the house later on in life. Doing this helps build responsibility and allows your child to grow so, by the time they do leave the house, they understand the need to perform specific tasks and to stay on top of what needs to be done. Due to this, it is a good idea to create a chore chart for kids. This family chore chart is able to point out exactly what each child needs to do. It also can create a bit of a competition between the different children on the list. This way, when some of your children see another out performing them, they have a greater incentive to increase the number of house chores they perform in order to catch up.

Ages 2-3

This might sound extremely young, but it is a good idea to start your children off performing minor chores at this time of their life. Children often want to help out around the house, but they simply are too small and not strong enough to do the larger tasks. However, they can perform certain tasks, which can eventually lead to larger tasks as they age. First, they can help assist in making their beds. They probably are not able to completely make their bed on their own, but as long as you help with the process, they can see how it needs to be done, so when it comes to actually making the bed on their own, they should have no problem with it. On top of assisting you with making the bed, you should have them help pick up toys with your assistance. You want to make sure they understand the importance of picking up after themselves, and this is a good way to start. Make sure they pick up the toys and put them away. You do need to supervise this, because if you do not, they are likely to push toys under couch cushions or other areas where the toys should not be placed.

Ages 4-5

As the child ages, there are additional items you can place on the chore chart template. This template is easy enough to make. If you have a spreadsheet program on your computer system you can use this, or you can simply draw it out on a large piece of paper. You basically need to create a grid where all of the children’s names are on one side of the page and the chores required are on the top of the piece of paper. You then draw lines separating the different items so it is easy to see exactly what chores the child needs to complete. You can also write all of this up on a chalk board or dry erase board. This way, you do not need to continually write out new chore list pages each and every week.

As for the chores your child at this age can complete, they can first start dressing themselves without most of your help. While there might be the occasion where they need some assistance, such as with their shoes, if you can select the clothes that they put on, they should have no problem dressing themselves. On top of this, by this age, they should be ready to start making their own bed. They have helped you make their bed for the last year or two, so now they should be ready. Additionally, outside of cleaning up after themselves, they should be able to pick up their things from the car and bring them inside with them. These sound like small chores, but at this age, it is difficult to assign anything else that is larger. With the small chores for kids, they can develop the ability to build upon what they do for you and what they do around the house.

Outside of tasks they perform for their own wellbeing, it is time, at this age, for them to start performing chores to help out around the house. This is going to include matching socks in the laundry. This is also going to help with color matching, so it should not prove terribly difficult. You can also place them in charge of feeding and watering your pet.

Age 6-7

Now that your child is either in their first or second year of organized schooling, you can increase the number of items you place on the kids chore chart. In terms of their own requirements, your child should be able to make their bed every day, choose out their outfit and get dressed. They should also be able to take care of their personal hygiene as well at this age. In terms of helping around the house though, on top of the previous mentioned chores, they should be able to mop individual rooms, such as their bedroom. They can also use the vacuum as well. You can have them help you with the laundry and folding the clothes, but it is up to them to put their own laundry into their own drawers and their closet. They should also put away their dishes into the dishwasher and help take them out. One child should have the chore of taking the dishes out of the dishwasher. Lastly, having them empty the indoor trash cans and place the bags into the large trash container outside is an excellent chore for them to do.

Age 8-9

At this age, not only should your child be on top of their personal hygiene, but they should also be in charge of keeping their room clean, staying on top of their homework and you can also start integrating the use of an alarm clock at this time, so you can focus on preparing items for their school day. When you create the chores list, you can also produce the content on a printable document now, which is easier than hand writing it out. In terms of family chores ideas, you should add wash dishes, clean the bathroom, rake leaves and take the trash can out to the curb for trash pickup to the list of chores they are now able to do. Of course, it is up to you to decide how you reward them, whether it is a weekly allowance, but only after they complete all of their chores, or a different award.

Age 12-13

At this age, your child should be on top of their personal hygiene, homework and their room. They should be able to change their bedding and take it to the laundry room, plus they should be able to do the occasional deep cleaning of their room as well. In terms of family chores they do for the household, you are going to add mow the lawn (with your supervision initially), baby sit for younger children, if you believe they can handle the responsibility, clean mirrors in the bathroom and even prepare the occasional family meal to the previous list of chores. Basically, you are growing each chore to include something else. So, instead of just cleaning the bathroom floor and sink, they now clean the mirror as well.

Age 14-15

Now that your child is a teenager, they are basically already doing everything for themselves inside of their room. For the family chores, they need to be able to do their homework without prompting, any kind of yard work you need help with, ranging from raking leaves and helping you plant flowers to watering a garden and mowing the yard. They can now also wash windows around the house. It is a good idea to help and show them how to properly wash the windows, otherwise you are going to end up with streaky windows, which in turn is just going to cause you to wash these windows again anyway.

Ages 16-18

This really is the last time you can add chores to the list. Chances are, your child is going to move out of the house at the end of this age period in order to go to college or to at least obtain their own apartment. Due to this, the chores, by definition, can now come to fruition and they are going to be better prepared when they leave. At this age though, they are now responsible for making their own money, so instead of you giving it to them, they need to earn it. They also need to stay on top of the car they drive, such as changing the oil (taking it in for this) and filling the gas tank. Outside of this though, they basically already have the chores in place for this age of their life. Of course, by the time they move out, you are going to have to perform all of these chores on your own again.

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