Children spend a great amount of time with their eyes glued to the screen or simply playing with their toys. Of course, they need their leisure time, but many parents spoil their kids, which doesn’t do them any favor in the long term. They fail to teach them to appreciate the value of work and responsibility. On the other hand, the whole family can profit from a different kind of approach, the one that empowers kids to develop good habits for life. So, what are the age-appropriate chores?
There is a wide array of chores that are within kids’ ability, yet remain challenging enough. They boost self-esteem, nurture a sense of belonging to the family, and enable parents to strike a better work-life balance. And rest assured that most kids like to contribute in their own cute way. Moreover, they are efficient in following multi-step instructions and directions. They just want you to be at their side and present the chore as something worth their attention and time.
So, let us start with toddlers. Some people presume that they are not able to take on chores. However, kids between two and four years can help you a great deal in keeping the clutter and mess at bay. For instance, you can let them put toys and books away after playing. Furthermore, allow them to water the plants. Getting dressed and undressed as well as brushing their teeth is also something they can do without or with limited parents’ involvement. You might still have to be present in the room, but it is fine to go one step at a time.
Leaps and bounds
Once they reach the preschool phase and become four or five years of age, children may start making the bed and tidying the bedroom. What is more, they could lend a helping hand when loading the dishwasher and acquire the habit of putting their dirty clothes in the laundry. In the kitchen, some new responsibilities await, such as storing groceries, emptying small trash cans, and setting the table. At this age, kids are also capable of feeding their pet. You can assist with things like ordering food from brands like Royal Canin or refilling the water bowls.
Once they are school age (around seven years old), kids are fit to take on most of the house chores as well as some outside of it. They can prepare meals, vacuum, handle the dishwasher, fold laundry, walk the pets, take the garbage out, and take care of their personal hygiene. It is important to maintain their interest and stimulate them to continually improve and eventually master the craft of chores. The trick is to blend fun and work because learning through play is learning at its finest. So, get creative and turn even the most tedious of chores into exciting family adventures.
Finally, teenagers are able to tackle all of the aforementioned chores, in addition to some new ones like washing the car and cleaning around the house, including wiping and spraying in the bathroom. You should also not hesitate to give them tasks related to tougher chores. At this point, they can supervise a younger kid, mow the lawn, or run family errands. They are on the doorsteps of adulthood and the sooner they start learning the ropes the better. Then again, every child matures on its own pace, so do not force things upon them.
Do not shy away from delegating tasks to the kids. They may not be very helpful at the beginning, but do not expect perfection. Take frustration and resentment out of the process and make sure the chores are suitable for each stage of your child’s development. Introduce new chores at regular intervals and try to make them as entertaining as possible. At the same time, demonstrate the correct way to do things and explain why it is important. That way, you will set them up for school and professional success later on.