How old should your child be when they start to do chores?
For a lot of moms, it’s something they want to encourage in their child, but don’t want to ruin the experience, i.e. chore tasks are no longer fun, they are now CHORES!!
If you are a stay-at-home mom, then chores are an every day task. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I had a mountain of laundry to put away and dishes in the sink.
My son loved to “help” me: he would take all the folded clothes out of the basket and try to fold them himself. Or, if I was sweeping , he would attempt his version of sweeping.
I don’t know about you, but he wasn’t really helping me clean up. Instead, he was contributing to the mess!
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But, I needed to nurture his curiosity
I had to have a new game plan.
I knew the value chores can instil on your child. Some benefits of getting your child to do chores include:
- They feel more confident – they get to do things “on their own”
- They feel like they are part of a team – when they work with you trying to tidy up the house, they are pitching in and helping you out
- It makes your life simple! – once your little one gets used to doing chores, you can give them the responsibility of doing them every day!
But, how do you know what chores are appropriate for your child? Very little children can still do chores, but you don’t want to overwhelm them or make them feel like they can’t do the chore.
Here are some simple guidelines based on your child’s age:
With little ones, the best type of chores you can do are ones that require picking up. This is the perfect time to teach your child to pick up their toys after they are done playing with them.
To do this, have clear designated spots of where the toys go.
You can use a chart to show what chores your little one can do. Stickers can also be a good incentive to get them to fill their chart.
School Aged Children
During this time when your child enters school, the best way to incorporate chores is to do it step-by-step.
Break down the chore into easy steps. For example, if you want your child to put away their clothes you can break the chore down to:
- Sort clothes
- Fold clothes
- Put away clothes
By this time, they shouldn’t be awarded with every little chore they do. However, it’s probably a good idea to give your tween an allowance and group tasks and chores.
This will teach them financial responsibility.
Chores during this time should mimic real world type of chores. When they move out can they cook for themselves? How about doing laundry? Do they know how to work the washing machine or dishwasher?
These life skills are important for your teen to learn.
What Chores My Child Does
My son just turned three years old. He loves to help out (and play). One of the first things he enjoyed doing was shovel snow!
I know. It snows a lot where we live and ever since he was little and walking he would watch his dad shovel the drive way. He soon modelled this and every where he gets better and better at it!
Another chore I get him to do is to put his laundry away. He has a bucket and he puts all his underwear and socks in and takes it to his room and puts it in his drawer.
One final chore is setting the table. I get him to put his plate, cup and silverware on the table for dinner. I sometimes let him do our plates!!
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