According to the AACAP (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry), children ages three and up can build greater self-esteem, learn responsibility, and experience more success in life if given chores.
As a parent, these are all great attributes we’d like to see in our children, and let’s face it, sharing the load also helps our sanity. Guiding them in helping with house cleaning helps them understand why we clean. In addition to learning life skills and being a supportive part of a family unit, doing chores helps with:
Time Management, Prioritization, & Balance
Chores help children understand that there is a time for play and a time for work. They also get introduced to time management and prioritization by learning they need to do X before Y. For example, putting away toys before watching TV or doing dishes before homework.
Learning to follow a list or schedule teaches the valuable life skill of time management. It will also help you as a parent when items need to happen in order to get somewhere, such as going to school on time.
Organization & Sorting Skills
Organization and structure are something that kids will have reinforced at daycare and school. Their belongings will have a place, and they will have their own space to maintain in order to be successful.
Of course, kids will always vary on how naturally organized they will be, but teaching the skill early will contribute to success.
When responsible for tasks, kids will build upon their self-esteem by proving they can do it, even if it takes some practice. They learn to have autonomy for their responsibilities, and this builds independence.
Age-Specific Chore Suggestions
You know your child’s abilities better than anyone, so take all of these suggestions with that in mind. Use the tips below to help encourage their success in completing chores.
Chores for Kids Under Age 3
At this age, they will need a lot of guidance, patience, and supervision, but you are setting a foundation and expectation of what it means to share household responsibilities.
- Dressing themselves
- Putting away toys in one area (keep it simple)
- Helping put away groceries
- Helping to make beds
- Putting dirty clothes in the basket
Chores for Kids Ages 4 – 8
This age group still needs supervision and instruction, especially the first few times they learn a new chore. Explain expectations and consider offering rewards like allowance, screen time, or special activities.
- Helping to feed pets
- Helping to set and clear the table for meals
- Wiping down table and counters
- Helping with sorting laundry and folding and putting it away
- Making their bed and tidying their room
- Bringing in groceries and helping put them away
- Writing thank you notes
- Sweeping and vacuuming
- Emptying small indoor trash cans
Chores for Kids Ages 9 -12
Tween kids are learning independence and can be left alone, depending on their maturity. This means they are starting to prove their ability to be responsible for their actions and time.
- Unloading and loading the dishwasher
- Helping with meal prep
- Doing light yard work
- Doing their homework, with or without supervision
- Using the washer and dryer
- Cleaning mirrors and windows
Chores for Kids Ages 13 – 18
On the higher side of this age group, teens should learn how to maintain their personal space, including vehicle care (if they drive), purchasing clothes and groceries, and budgeting their money.
- Taking out the trash
- Packing their lunch and preparing easy meals
- Changing their bedding
- Cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms
- Washing the car(s)
- Deep cleaning projects like cleaning out the fridge or cupboards
Tips for Helping Your Kids Learn Chores
Be specific in what you want done and how. This doesn’t mean to be critical; it means to set clear outcomes so they know they have achieved what is expected. For example, let them know how much detergent or cleaner to use or to move the toaster and wipe under it rather than just around it.
Create a habit by setting schedules for when things should be completed. For example, asking that trash be taken out by Wednesday at 7 a.m. (because that’s trash day). Being consistent with a routine helps things move along with less friction.
Focus on age-appropriate tasks that are doable. Younger kids will need shorter tasks than older kids, but they will always want them to be fun. Turn chores into games or contests or offer rewards for completion. Choose your battles and offer lots of praise when teaching new behaviors.
Contact A Cleaning Service for Cleaning with Care
Struggling to get through all the household chores? Let A Cleaning Service give you a hand. Not only will we help share the burden, but it will free up the time you desire to spend on relationships that matter, those with your kids, family, and friends.
With over 30 years in the cleaning business, our customers have come to rely on our skill and expertise to make their lives easier. A Cleaning Service helps with the weekly chores that can get lost in the busyness of life.
Homeowners in the Greater Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland areas have come to rely on our award-winning cleaning company. Learn more about us to see why we’ve earned their trust and confidence. Contact us today for a quote or more information on how our cleaning service can help you.