A Cleaner World Blog
In November, we discussed how to go about delegating chores to your kids, and we indicated we’d follow up with suggestions on age-appropriate chores. I couldn’t help but laugh at the suggestions as I did my research because there were things on the list for 4 to 5- year-olds that Gray had failed miserably at when he was 10 or 12 (remember the over-watered herbs and dead vacuum cleaner). At the same time, he started mowing grass when he was 8; each child is different, and you know your kids better than anyone else.
Below is a breakdown of examples by age. Of course, jobs from previous age groups apply to the older kids as well.
- Ages 2 to 3 – Put toys away, feed the family pet, put dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
- Ages 4 to 5 – Empty trash baskets, bring in the mail, get dressed, help carry things in from the car.
- Ages 6 to 7 – Set the dinner table, pull weeds, pick up bedroom, sort dirty laundry and fold clean laundry, make bed.
- Ages 8 to 9 – Take care of their personal hygiene, put away their clothes, be responsible for their belongings, load dishwasher, help pack lunch, walk the dog, water flowers.
- Ages 10 and older – Wash the car, wash windows, mow lawn, do laundry, change bed sheets, cook with supervision.
Some sources suggested making a Chores Chart; we tried that, and it didn’t work. Gray looked at the chart and saw lists and columns and found it overwhelming. Instead, we simply ask him to help out. He knows he’s responsible for mowing the grass, keeping his room neat and tidy, and putting his clean clothes away. After that, I ask him to do tasks as they need to be done – take the trash out, walk the dog, vacuum the car, set the table, and so on, but if it’s a big job like mowing the grass or helping with a big project, I give him advance warning so he can plan it in with homework or things he wants to do. We just played around with options until we found the path of least resistance.
Sometimes we offer an incentive to get jobs done. For example, we do pay him for cutting the grass. After all, we have 5 acres, and mowing the grass isn’t a quick task, but he is paid what Matt calls ‘the family rate.’ Other times, the incentive is when your chores are complete, you may have dessert. But for the most part, we do not give an allowance for chores. We feel he needs to learn that things around the house don’t just magically happen.
Getting your kids involved around the house not only teaches responsibility, but it also helps lighten your load. Speaking of lightening your load, A Cleaner World is always here to help you out as well. Just drop off your household items, dry cleaning, and rugs at any one of our locations.