Monday, July 8, 2019

Teaching Responsibility with Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

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My kids have helped out around the house since they were old enough to wield a dishrag.  As they've gotten older, I've given them more responsibility.

Children thrive and grow on responsibility. Sure, it can be scary at first (think of how you felt when you first started a new job), but it gives them so much confidence in themselves. Responsibility gives kids a sense of pride and accomplishment. Side note: Have you seen the toy vacuum from Dyson that actually works? I wish something like that had been available when my kidlets were younger! Rather than telling my kids that they’re doing something to help me out, I emphasize teamwork and family.  We all work together to take care of our home because we’re a family. We all help each other, especially when someone’s not feeling well, because we’re a family.

The whole teamwork thing applies to more than just cleaning the house though. Giving kids a sense of teamwork strengthens their bonds with each other and teaches them to work with others towards a common goal. They learn to negotiate instead of just bossing people around. The benefits of learning teamwork as a child are life-long.
To give you an idea of chores that are appropriate for your kids’ ages, I put together a list. Keep in mind that it’s meant as a guideline, and you should decide chores based on your child’s specific abilities. Scroll to the bottom to find a printable version of the list.
2-3 years old
Pick up toys and put in a toybox
Unload the silverware tray in the dishwasher (make sure you take the knives and anything else sharp out first!)
Put dirty clothes in the hamper

4-5 years old
Vacuum chairs and couch with handheld vacuum
Set table
Clear table
Wash bathroom sink (with safe non-chemical cleaners)
Fold dish towels
Match socks
Put clean clothes away
Feed and water pets
Help put away groceries
Wash doorknobs
Plus everything in the previous category

6-8 years old
Fold laundry and put away
Clean microwave
Empty and load the dishwasher
Make bed
Wash dishes by hand
Pick up sticks in yard
Clean mirrors
Plus everything in the previous categories

9-12 years old
Rake leaves
Take out trash/recycling
Cook simple meals
Clean toilets
Plus everything in the previous categories

13 years old and up
Clean shower/bathtub
Clean out fridge
Mow the lawn
Shovel snow
Change bedsheets
Vacuum out the car
Plus everything in the previous categories

How do you handle chores at your house?

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