Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kids CAN Help Out With Chores!

It’s never too early to ask your kids to help you with chores around the house. You can even start as early as two years old. While children mature at different rates, you can still determine what age appropriate chores are best suited for toddlers, kids, tweens and teens. Here's a little guide to help you:

Toddlers - These little balls of fire can certainly help you around the house. Start by giving them some of these simple tasks: making the bed; picking up their toys; feeding the family pet; helping you put laundry into the basket; or cleaning up split milk on the kitchen floor. These chores would be most suited to two and three year olds. You can teach your toddlers to do their chores by making a game out of it or singing a song while completing each task. It will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. Yes, even at that young age.

4's and 5's - You can ask them to help you: set the table; dust around the house; help make cookies; help you carry grocery bags (as long as you make it light for them).

6 thru 8's - This age can really dig into the chores by: taking care of the pet they’ve always wanted; helping you vacuum the floor; taking out the trash or folding the laundry. You can even ask them to help you prepare meals. Think of the experience they are getting at this early age.

Tweens (9-12) - This age group really has their work cut out for them. Some of the more vigorous chores can be relegated to outside work: rake the leaves; wash the car; help clean out the garage. If you need help inside the house, they can certainly help you prepare meals; dust and vacuum the house; wash dishes or clean the bathroom. Certainly they would be old enough to make their beds; clear their room of debris; organize their toys, etc...

Teens - These 13's and up tend to pose a different problem altogether. Sometimes they are willing to help, and other times not. It depends on how you’ve raised them. If they have been helping out since they were two, you won’t have a problem. In fact, they can do almost anything you ask of them. Be sure they can manage whatever task you assign, however. If you’ve taught them well, they have the ability to prepare meals; clean the kitchen; wash windows; do the laundry; just about any indoor and outdoor chore you need.

It's important to build your child's self-esteem and self-worth by teaching them to be independent at a very young age. This can be accomplished with the assignments of age-appropriate chores and LOTS of guidance :)


Revka said...

All of my girls (4, 2, and 18 mos.) love to help me. I'm crazy enough to let my 18 mo old get the Corelle dishes out of the dishwasher and put them on the table for me. They also love to help me mix up cookies, pancakes, and the like. they have pint-sized brooms and mops, and a little play vauum cleaner. My 4 yr old likes to help me fold washcloths, and they all just want to do whatever Mommy is doing. It's great! Well, most of the time. I really want to encourage them to help now because I want them to KEEP helping in the future.

chihuahuas-r-barking said...

My 13 yr old daughter is great around the house. She manages to keep her own room clean, bedsheets washed, floor vaccumed and she cooks 1 night a week. I started her out a couple years ago showing her how to sort her laundry and take care of her clothes. I think it's important these days for a girl or a boy to learn while they are young. When they get ready to leave the nest, they will at least be a little prepared.

Jane Allen said...

My kids can do some household stuff but I guess it's never too late to introduce more chores. That is why I checked up this post. I love how you segregated chores according to ages. I picked up a couple of ideas from your list. I've always loved the idea of raising independent kids. I trust my kids will turn out right.