No one enjoys being the nagging parent who is constantly reminding her kids to make the bed, clean their room or feed the fish. But, delegating chores is an inevitable part of the job. According to Psychology Today, chores teach children confidence, empathy, gratitude, competence, self-regulation and mindfulness, among so many other valuable traits.
Whether you’re dealing with a sassy teenager who would rather zone out with a Gameboy than fold laundry or a hyper toddler who only tells you “no,” there are plenty of ways to include all of your children in daily tasks while making it a positive experience. Here is a quick breakdown of a few age-appropriate chores.
Ages 2 and 3:
This is the age in which chores can seem “fun” to your kiddos. It is the “monkey see, monkey do” stage of life. If they see you working on chores, they will probably want to help. Have them pick up toys and books, move laundry from the dryer to the hamper (with assistance) and place clothes in drawers. Start small and stay consistent.
Ages 4 to 6:
Ask them to help you feed the dog, clear the table, match their socks and put away groceries (with assistance and within their reach, of course). Continue to have your kids pick up their toys and assist with laundry.
Ages 7 to 11
Older kiddos might be ready to sweep the floor, vacuum, take out the trash if it isn’t too heavy, meal prep, organize rooms and bring in the mail. Have them refill their pet’s water bowl.
Ages 12 and up:
While every chore previously listed should be within their range now, add new ones on like mowing the lawn, babysitting siblings (if applicable), washing the windows, washing the car, preparing simple meals, laundry, mopping the floors and cleaning out the refrigerator.
According to an article from Empowering Parents, there are a few practical and effective ways to get kids to do their chores sooner than later. End all distractions, set a time limit (allot 20 minutes for doing the dishes), create a structure, don’t use chores as punishment and use a reward system or allowance.
Create a visual schedule so kids can anticipate what is in store for the week. Chores might not seem so impossible and overwhelming when they see it on paper.