When my husband and I were newly weds, I thought it was difficult to keep our house clean. Now, living in the same house with six children, I realize how good I had it back then. I spent our first few years with children thinking that all the kids could do was make messes. Finally, I turned to books and the internet for help and I slowly began to to realize that even my toddlers could complete some age appropriate chores.
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Have you ever heard the saying, “many hands make light work?” It has become one of my favorites. This means that the more family members you can involve in household chores, the easier the job(s) become. The problem is, we usually exclude the younger members of the family from chores because we think they are too young to contribute anything. In reality, there are lots of things they can do!
Age Appropriate Chores
Children need to feel like they contribute to the family. Teaching them to take ownership of tasks at an early age will only benefit them and you, as the parent, later on.
Invest in Teaching and Training
Many parents don’t teach their children to do household chores because it takes time. The parent can perform the task much quicker than they can teach the child to do it. However, if you look at the time spent teaching now as an investment, you will reap the benefits later when the child can complete the chore by himself.
Training your child in household chore tasks while they are young will benefit your child even when he or she is an adult. You child will be much more confident and successful if they leave your home knowing how to keep a clean home, prepare meals, perform maintenance tasks and do laundry.
Consistency Is Key
Just like with anything else, repetition in chores and the habit of completing them regularly will be they key to getting chores done correctly. Completing chores regularly also adds structure to a home. Also, when children become accustomed to the look and feel of a clean and neat home, they recognize more quickly when something is out of place or an area of the home needs attention. This can be achieved by using a chore system that operates on a regular chore schedule.
Don’t Underestimate Your Child
When presented with a new task, or one that may be slightly above their level of ability, children often rise to the occasion. Sometimes parents can adjust the way a task is accomplished or modify the tools used in order to allow a child to be successful in a given chore. An example would be giving a five year old a small broom in order to allow him to sweep the floor. Here are a few examples of chores that children can help with:
Toddler and Preschool
- Dirty Diapers to Trash
- Put away pajamas
- Bring diapers for baby
- Pick up toys
- Help with laundry
- Unload dishwasher
- Pet Chores
12 and Up
- Watch younger siblings
- Mop Floors
- Change Light Bulbs
- Replace Air Filters
- Prepare Meals
- Clean Toilets
a much larger list of chores for children of all ages, see below. I hope this helps to lighten your load by sharing the load!