Giving your kids some chores to do around the house will boost their self-esteem and make them feel that they are contributing to the family. Involving your children in household work will make them more responsible, self-sufficient and teach them some much-needed skills. It is best that you assign them some chores, by making a chore chart so that they have a clear idea of what they are expected to do. While assigning chores, make sure that the chores you assign suits your child's age and ability. Also make sure that you supervise younger kids while they are doing their chores. Periodically, rotate the chores among kids, so that there is some variation and kids don't get bored with doing the same work.
There are many parents who choose to pay kids for doing household chores. While some parents find that this system works, there are others who think that paying children for doing chores is akin to bribing them. The downside of paying your children for helping around the house is that they might equate doing chores with monetary benefits. This will make them expect monetary reward for every chore that they do around the house. That being said, you can give a small weekly allowance to your kids. Alternatively can also pay your kids for doing extra work around the household, which is not a part of their regular chores.
Age-appropriate Chores for Children
Given below is a list of chores that kids can take up according to their age.
- Helping in making their own beds
- Putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket
- Picking up toys and putting them in the toy's basket
- Bringing in the newspaper
- Setting the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Filling up a pet's water and food bowl
- Clearing and wiping the dinner table after meals (under supervision)
- Sorting washed laundry
- Putting away groceries in the refrigerator
- Helping a parent in cleaning and setting the pantry
- Watering indoor plants
- Emptying dishes into the garbage
- Dusting furniture
- Cleaning their room
- Helping out in food preparation (under supervision)
- Emptying trash cans
- Loading the dishwasher
- Folding washed laundry
- Fixing a bowl of cereals
- Making their own bed
- Pulling out weeds from the garden
- Taking out the garbage
- Hanging out laundry
- Folding laundry and putting them away
- Fetching mails from the mailbox
- Helping in washing the car
- Raking leaves in the yard
- Chopping vegetables
- Helping in preparing meals
- Cleaning the bathroom
- Loading and unloading the dishwasher
- Cleaning and setting the pantry
- Cleaning the refrigerator
- Vacuuming and mopping the floors
How to Get Kids to Do Household Chores
Most kids grumble and procrastinate while doing household work. With so many other interesting things to do like playing video games and watching their favorite television show, it shouldn't come as a surprise when they are disinclined to do household work. But there are some ways in which you can motivate and induce kids to do their share of chores.
- Teach your kids to do household work from a young age. Kids as young as 2-3 years can help in doing minor chores around the house. By encouraging them to do some household work early in life, you will train them to do their work and they won't complain about doing chores during their teenage.
- Assign a chore according to your child's age and ability. Make sure that you do not assign a chore(s), that is beyond your child's capability. Asking a 5-year old to clean and set the entire pantry is of no use as it is a very time-consuming job and is beyond his/her capability.
- While assigning chores, do have a discussion with older kids to know what kind of chores they would like to do. Allowing them to choose their own task will get the work finished faster and your kids will also enjoy doing household work.
- If you have not set down a household chore schedule for kids, then it is time to do so. Telling your kid when you expect a particular chore to be completed, will motivate him/her to finish the work on time. When you want some work to be accomplished, it is best to set a time frame for it.
- If your kid gets bored by doing a particular type of household work, then discuss with your kid what he/she would like to do instead. There is no point in making a child do a chore that he/she does not enjoy.
- If repeated attempts in making your child do household chores is met with resistance and sulking, then sit with your kid and explain why doing chores is important. Explain to them that as members of the family, they are also responsible for the working and smooth running of the household.
- If your kid is still not receptive about doing household chores, explain to your kid that he/she would lose out on certain privileges like TV watching and playing outdoors.
- When your kid is just beginning to help around the house, do not expect him to do the work as perfectly as you do it. It is important to acknowledge his/her effort in completing the assigned chores.
- Always praise your kids when they do a good job. Appreciate and acknowledge the efforts that they have put in doing their work. This will motivate them to do the chores diligently.
It is very important to assign chores to kids that match their age and ability. If you assign a work that is too hard or time-consuming, your kid might get frustrated and not complete the work. Worse, they might refuse to help in doing household chores altogether. Start assigning chores to your kids when they are young, and very soon, doing chores will become a routine and a normal part of life for your family.