Getting kids to help out around the house with small tasks can be quite a challenge. Most kids would be more than happy if they weren’t expected to do anything around the home, and some parents might feel like getting their kids to actually do their chores is more effort than it’s worth. The reality is that tasking your kids with a few quick jobs that are age-appropriate and they can do every day is great for their development and sense of responsibility. Here are a few ideas for chores no matter how old your children are.
Chores for Toddlers
You’ll likely be finding your feet as a parent of a walking, talking human when your kids are at this age, so don’t put too much emphasis on chores, particularly if you’re a first-time parent or if you’re doing short term fostering. There are still some valuable lessons to be learned through doing chores though, so encourage your toddlers to pick up their toys after playtime or put their dirty clothes in the hamper. This is about positive encouragement to demonstrate how to be neat and tidy, and not much else. Some kids show an aptitude for it at younger ages, and you can think about adding some more complex tasks but keep it very simple and positive.
Chores for Pre-schoolers
It’s when your kids get to pre-school age, at around five years old, that you can start to instil the values of doing chores that are focused on cleaning up after themselves. Daily routines like making their bed, putting away their clean laundry and taking responsibility for personal hygiene like brushing their teeth are most important.
Chores for Tweens
When your kids are between the ages of 9 and 12, you should have them do more family-orientated chores in the communal living spaces. Things like helping you prepare and cook dinner, loading and unloading a dishwasher or feeding the family pets are perfect for this age. You can also give them bigger tasks like making their own school lunch in the mornings and changing their own bedding. It’s this age where a reward in the form of pocket money might be a useful incentive.
Chores for Teens
Teenagers are very focused on their friends and likely won’t be volunteering to help around the house with chores and tasks. Instead of daily tasks, it might be easier to get teens to cooperate with weekly ones, like sweeping and mopping the kitchen. Teens should be able to do almost everything you do around the house, so give them tasks that will also help them learn valuable life lessons, like cooking a meal unaided.
With the right chore and the right reward, getting your kids to do them without you having to nag and remind them constantly shouldn’t be too difficult. They’ll be benefiting from a strong sense of responsibility and an introduction to the reward they can earn for working hard, and you’ll be benefitting from a couple of small tasks you no longer need to do. It’s a win-win!
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