The earlier parents start with age-appropriate chores for children, the better. Introducing them to chores from an early age is one of the ways to ensure children start to have a sense of responsibility.
Imagine this scenario; Tilewa is a 17-year-old in University and she cannot wash her clothes or make her bed. This issue did not just pop up at 17 years old, it started earlier at home from the age of 5.
It is never too early to start children on the road to being independent adults.
If you want ideas on age-appropriate chores for your child, we have a handy list for you to get started
Starting at the Right Age
Young children naturally desire to be involved, have you ever seen how excited a young child could be to help with laundry or to sweep? Many times parents do not capitalise on this early and tend to wait till you suddenly decide that Uche should just know to do chores when she is 13 and goes off to boarding school.
Then the struggle starts. You want to get them early to feel a sense of belonging and to take responsibility for their space and where they call home.
As soon as a child can walk you can start by asking him to clean up after himself, so pick up their toys or put their clothes in the hamper. As they get older they can start to do the dishes and make their beds in the morning.
When children get used to doing chores, they will never feel that they are doing you a favour. There are some parents who do compensate their children for doing chores. Paying children to do chores sends the wrong message, fosters an attitude of entitlement. Additionally, it commercialises something they should be doing anyway; would you pay your child to do their homework?Would you pay your child to do homework? Don't pay them to do chores. Click To Tweet
Research indicates that children who do have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.
Fast forward 17 years to when Tilewa leaves home for University, you do not want her to be handicapped because she does not know how to wash her clothes. So equip them for their future.
Do not wait till Tilewa leaves home for University and is struggling because she cannot wash her clothes. Click To Tweet
Some age-appropriate chores
Ages 2 – 3 years
- Put toys in the toy box
- Place dirty clothes in the laundry hamper
- Throw trash Away
Ages 4 – 7 years
- Put Away Toys
- Make their Bed
- Take plates to sink
Ages 8 – 11 years
- Wash Laundry
- Hang and Fold Clean Clothes
- Clean Countertops
Ages 12 and up
- Sweep and Mop Floors
- Make a meal
- Wash and Iron Clothes
- Watch Younger Siblings
You can download a handy guide and print out a list of age-appropriate chores