We all want to have well-adjusted responsible children who are assets to their community. However, not all children are wired with the drive or motivation to help. This isn’t an assault on their character, rather an observation. All children are different, they all have their special strengths, and for some, being a helper falls low on the list.
Implementing household responsibilities through chores is a great way to instill a sense of ownership over household duties as well as taking some pressure off of parents. If you’re ready to do something like this for your family, today’s parenting tips come in the form of a helpful breakdown of possible chores for each age group.
You might think that preschool is too early in a child’s life to institute a chore chart. But there are plenty of ways that a child can chip in at this age. In fact, this is a great age for children to begin the habit of making their beds in the morning. Additionally, preschool-aged kids can begin picking up after themselves once playtime is done. Creating clear organizational systems and minimizing your toy collection will set them up for success as they learn to tidy their personal space.
Once kids have advanced to kindergarten you can add more simple tasks to their chore list. For example, a child this age can be responsible for setting and then clearing the table for meals. In fact, you might even trust your kindergarten-aged child to assist with the preparation of meals. Of course, this would need to be supervised and would depend upon the child. As they age, you may choose to add chores to their existing chores or switch them out for new ones.
Early Elementary School
During the early years of elementary school, children may be responsible enough to be trusted with the task of caring for a pet. In many families, having a pet at all is dependent upon a child’s commitment to caring for it. Additionally, this is a great age to teach children how to do their own laundry. Even if they don’t operate the washer and dryer it’s a great time to teach them to deliver their own clothes to the laundry room and then fold and put them away once they’re clean.
Late Elementary School and Middle School
When your kids get older they can accomplish all of the tasks listed above as well as much bigger chores that serve the whole family such as cleaning a bathroom, doing the dishes, and tackling some yard work. Teaching personal responsibility by expecting them to keep their own areas neat and clean, while also teaching them to support the team by participating in keeping family areas orderly as well. By this age your kids can assist with most household chores; dusting, vacuuming, washing windows, cleaning up yard waste, the list goes on and on. Any chores you’re doing, they’re more than capable of chipping in to help with.
It can’t be said enough that children will vary in their ability to manage these responsibilities at these specific ages. And honestly, that part isn’t that important. What’s most important is that they learn that their participation and engagement is vital to your family’s success. Hopefully, over time, they’ll also gain an appreciation for the self-esteem boost you can get from chipping in to help your family. For more parenting tips, follow along on our blog, and if you’d like to learn more about St. Barnabas School contact us today.