This week we are going to talk about ways to teach your children responsibility along with helping around the house.
Here are things kids can do broken down by age group:
Many toddlers are eager to help with chores, and while their “helping” may not always be appreciated, keeping their excitement and the habit of helping out alive, should be. Sticker charts are a great way to keep toddlers excited about helping. Their chores may have to be completed with you helping every step of the way, but you are laying the groundwork for children that find chores and helping a way of life.
Some chores 2-3 year olds can do…
- Help make the bed.
- Pick up toys and books.
- Take laundry to the laundry room.
- Help feed pets.
- Help wipe up messes.
- Dust with socks on their hands.
- Mop in areas with help.
Ages 4 and 5
Preschoolers still find helping to be an exciting venture and usually are thrilled when time is taken to teach them new chores. They are ready to do some chores without constant supervision. Rewards at this age are very motivating. A sticker chart that allows you to build up to bigger rewards can be appropriate. For some preschoolers, tying chores to an allowance is a great option and fosters independence in choosing a reward.
- Clear and set the table.
- Help out in cooking and preparing food.
- Carrying and putting away groceries.
These school age kids may or may not still have their childlike enthusiasm for completing chores. What they do have, however, is an overwhelming desire to be independent. Parents and caregivers can guide children to become independent in their chores, using chore charts to keep track of their responsibilities both completed and pending.
- Take care of pets.
- Vacuum and mop.
- Take out trash.
- Fold and put away laundry.
Children in this preteen age are capable of increasing responsibility where chores are concerned. Keep in mind that many children this age rely on continuity. Find a system that works for your family and do not change it without the input and support of the people it directly affects. Make sure that you factor in rewards and consequences and address those issues with your children. Let them know the consequences of not completing chores, as well as the rewards for fulfilling their responsibilities.
- Help wash the car.
- Empty the Dishwasher / Learn to wash dishes.
- Help prepare simple meals.
- Clean the bathroom.
- Rake leaves.
- Operate the washer and dryer.
Teenagers are developmentally ready to handle almost any chore in the home. At the same time a teenager’s schedule can sometimes become quite hectic, leaving little time for chores. Make sure that the workload of your teenagers is manageable.
- Replace light bulbs and vacuum cleaner bags.
- All parts of the laundry.
- Wash windows.
- Clean out refrigerator and other kitchen appliances.
- Prepare meals.
- Prepare grocery lists.
Other tips to consider:
1. Be reasonable in your expectations.
2. Be an example (when you slack off, they tend to slack also).
3. Have consequences without being harsh.
4. Get organized before you expect everyone else too.
5. Supervise (do not interfere unless work is not being done).
6. Train your workers.
Having your children help around the house not only teaches them an essential life skill, it also makes life easier for you as the parent. When we’re all helping, family life is happier too!