The Right Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Kids of all ages can reap great rewards for helping out around the house. In fact, many children, as young as toddlers, actually want to help. The trick is finding the right chores for kids that match their capabilities.

The Benefits of Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Not only do regular household jobs teach kids responsibility and prevent a sense of entitlement, they instill in children a vital sense of importance in the family.

When kids are able to participate in the workings of a household in meaningful ways, they internalize a powerful message: “My contributions matter; I matter here.” This feeling of significance is a cornerstone of successful family relationships.

The thing is, getting kids to do housework can be a challenge. They don’t exactly jump for joy at the prospect of folding socks or scrubbing the sink. A chore chart works great for some kids.

Take Time to Teach

Learning to keep up with chores is not something a child learns quickly. While seemingly straightforward to the adults who do them all the time, household tasks take weeks, months, or even years for kids to learn and develop habits. Depending on the job, be sure to take adequate time to teach kids what needs to happen and how to do it.

We Do it Together

Teaching chores is much more effective when it is done cooperatively. Engage children in the learning process with these four steps:

1. Model. First, just demonstrate how a task is done. 2. They help you. Next time you do the job, you get to have an assistant. 3. You help them. Now it is their turn to take the lead, and you are the assistant. 4. They do it alone. You’ve done this work together enough times that it is reasonable to expect a child to get a job done on her own.