Aug 08 2012

Published by under Journal

Working is part of life, and is one of the many things that parents need to teach their children. Giving children household chores will help them develop a good work ethic and a sense of responsibility. It will also help them learn how to do things that will eventually make them competent, independent adults. Here are some general guidelines for chores that are appropriate for different age groups:

Ages 1-2: Children at this young age are usually walking and know their way around the house. They can put items into containers, and should be able to learn where things belong. They can pick up toys and put them away, put dirty clothes into a hamper, and put trash into a trash can.

Ages 3-4: As they become more coordinated and develop better fine motor skills, kids can do more chores. Kids in this age group can help make their beds, carry clothes to the laundry room, fill water and food dishes for pets, and carry in light bags of groceries. They can help set the table, and get flatware and plastic cups out of the dishwasher and put them away. They can also help with simple cooking tasks like stirring and buttering bread.

Ages 5-6: By the time they are school-aged, kids can become more independent in their chores. They should be able to put away clean clothes, fold washcloths, and set the table. They can help with dusting furniture and vacuuming floors. They can also prepare some snacks and simple meals for themselves and for siblings, such as cereal, toast, and sandwiches.

Ages 7-8: These kids can handle more responsibility, but it helps to give them regular chores so they can develop a routine for doing them. They can keep their rooms clean and care for pets. They can scrape plates after dinner and stack them up or put them in the dishwasher. Other tasks such as wiping the kitchen table, cleaning the bathroom sink, and sorting laundry are also good choices. These older kids can begin to develop more cooking skills, like scrambling eggs and preparing grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ages 9-12: Kids in this age group are getting taller and more skilled, so they can start doing more things by themselves. They can do laundry, put away groceries, load and unload the dishwasher, vacuum, and change sheets. They can also do more to care for younger siblings, such as feeding and dressing them.

Ages 13 and up: If they have been learning skills all along, teenagers should be able to help out by taking over some cooking and cleaning tasks. They can take responsibility for their own laundry. They can also babysit younger siblings, and help teach them how to do their chores. They can be responsible for certain areas of the house. For example, have your teenager be in charge of keeping the living room clean. If there are younger siblings who leave toys and books in the living room, the teen can make sure that the younger kids pick up their things and put them away, and then take care of the other straightening, dusting, and vacuuming.

By giving your kids chores, you will teach them to have a work ethic and to be able to perform life skills they will need as adults. You will also help them to have a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the family when their chores are completed well. Besides that, you will have some great help around the house!

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