You have a large number of responsibilities around the house. Once your kids reach a certain age, it’s natural to begin wondering if re-assigning some of them could prove to not only relieve some of the pressure on you but help your kids develop essential skills.
Fortunately, the majority of research – along with our pediatricians – has concluded that assigning chores can help kids build the work ethic and the willingness to pitch in that leads to eventual business success.
Better yet, they’ll feel as if they’re contributing to your family and building appreciation of what’s necessary to keep your home running smoothly. However, before you go about distributing housework to your children, it’s important to keep a few things in mind, first:
- You can’t expect perfection – Even carefully-selected chores for older children will likely be completed well short of your satisfaction. The fix? Develop a relaxed approach, but insist kids follow through – and don’t cave in and complete the chores yourself.
- Don’t expect your workload to decrease right away – As mentioned above, chores and kids are a constant work in progress. Although you shouldn’t expect perfection or step in to complete the chore, you’ll likely need to pick up the slack after the kids have gone to bed.
- Stay consistent – Develop a schedule so kids become accustomed to what chores to expect and when to do them. Be consistent about your expectations, as well – allowing kids to slack off or expecting too much can cause the process to become an unnecessary struggle.
- Assign age-appropriate chores – You wouldn’t expect a two-year-old to unload the dishwasher or take out the trash, and the later ages can be tricky to nail down regarding appropriate chores. However, younger kids are capable of helping with more than you might think.
Age Appropriate Chores
All kids are different and may become able to handle different chores at different times. When you’re beginning a chores routine with your family, start by choosing one or two items from your child’s age bracket. Then, you can add and replace as your child grows.
|2-3||Pick up toys, put laundry in hamper, help make beds|
|4-5||Put dishes in sink, set the table, help carry, and sort groceries|
|6-7||Feed pets, help with cooking, vacuum or mop|
|8-9||Empty dishwasher, fold and put away laundry, help manage sports equipment and outdoor gear|
|10-11||Take out trash, help prepare simple meals, clean the bathroom|
|12-13||Rake leaves, wash, dry, and put away laundry, wash the car|
|14-15||Yard work/mow the lawn, wash windows, organize refrigerator and closets|
|16+||Prepare meals, car maintenance, prepare grocery lists, household maintenance|
To learn more about activities and chores that are responsible for your child’s age group, or to discuss any concerns about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of Franklin.