Age Appropriate Chores For Kids

It’s time once again for Heather Johnson from Family Volley to share some of her amazing Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words teaching us about teaching our kids to work and gives us a list of some age appropriate chores to get us started.

–Amy

teaching-kids-to-work
*Image found on Google Images. Original found here.

Society implies that success is having all you want, without having to work to get it.

It is true, play sounds more fun. But the idea that work is bad, and play is good is not what we want to preach in our homes. Work and play are meant to compliment one another, not be opposites. As parents, we have a divine obligation to teach our children to work. Raising moral children means teaching them to work.

Getting our kids to work can be hard and frustrating. It is usually the last thing kids want to do. But we do them a disservice by “protecting” them from work and responsibilities.

When it comes to teaching your kids to work, remember…

  • We need to have a good attitude. Speaking ill of work, or whining about it, will teach our children that work is miserable and bad. Keep the negative feelings to yourself.
  • Make work fun. It doesn’t have to be miserable. Turn on some music, make it a game, chat and talk while you’re working.
  • Work together. You don’t have to do the work for your children, but you can be with them as they are working. And remember, they learn by example, so working together gives you a great opportunity to teach them how things are done. How else will they learn?
  • Teach children to serve others. Provide your children with opportunities to serve outside your home and see the needs of others. Service teaches children to work. Then, help our children understand that family life is filled with needs. We want our children to see those needs and step up to fulfill them because it is the right thing to do. 
  • Don’t expect perfection. Accept the best job your child can do and thank them for their service. Even if you have to re-do some of the work. Be grateful and happy for the work they did.
I often get questions about what “work” is appropriate for our children. Here is some suggestions of age appropriate responsibilities for our kids. Keep in mind that each of our children are different. Do what is best for your child. This list is not all encompassing. Add or take away according to your child’s abilities. 
 
2-3 Years
Dress themselves
Pick up/put away toys
Unload the silverware in the dishwasher
Collect dirty clothes/separate by color
Straighten pillow and sheets on bed
Wash walls
Wipe down glass tables. Wipe down chairs.
 
4-5 Years
All Previous responsibilities, plus…
Load/unload plastic dishes and silverware in the dishwasher
Set the table
Clean Windows
Wipe down sinks
Fold kitchen dish towels
Fold Towels
Weed
Clear the table
Make Bed
Match Socks
Water plants
Empty Garbage cans
Straighten Room
6-8 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Clean the bathroom (wipe down sinks, toilets, mirror, tub)
Sweep 
Vacuum
Learn to do laundry (help hang and fold)
Rake Leaves
Mix, stir, simple meal prep
Keep room clean
 
9-11 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Take the garbage out
Wash clothes
Wash Car
Help care for pets
Iron Clothes (closer to 11 yrs.)
Mow Lawn
Straighten drawers and closet
Help siblings with their jobs and homework questions 
 
12-14 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Scrub the bathroom
Mop the floor
Make meals
Clean the fridge/freezer
Clean the garage
 
15-18 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Drive a car and get their license
Handle a checking account
Have a cell phone (pay for it?)
Have a job
Fill out college applications

Have a question or just want to say hello.
heather johnson

Comments

  1. 1

    I have three kids, almost 25 (in June), almost 15 (in March) and just turned 6. I have always had my kids do chores. I agree you are doing a huge disservice to not teach them responsibility and good work ethics. More need to. In my area, not enough do and I get the looks and comments because my kids have always had chores and had to work for things. It is not an easy job to raise, independent, self sufficient children with good morals and values in today’s society. I feel like I am the minority (have actually had school staff tell me so). While my kids don’t always like it, my oldest has recently thanked me. She said too many kids her age that she knows don’t want to work for anything and are sitting there with their hand out.

  2. 2

    I’m all for teaching kids a solid work ethic. So few have one these days and it’s doing our society a disservice. My girls have done their laundry since ages 7 and 9. Can’t wait to get my youngest two on that track as well!

  3. 3

    Hi Heather. You are so on the mark with this post!! My mom had us doing chores as early as I can remember and I think it’s why I’m pretty good about keeping up now. It looks like she was spot on. I did the same thing with my son. He washed dishes almost every night. Cleaned the bath every Sat before doing anything else. I also had him mowing by the age of 10-11. But I really think your tips at the top of your post are so important. More parents should take heed of all of these. The kids will be better prepared for life when they’re older. By making things to easy now, it’s making it harder for them later. I’ve love to share a link to your post on my blog if it’s alright with you of course.

    Hugs… Tracy@CottonPickinCute

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  1. […] dishes seems like it would just result in more work from me as I’d have to redo everything!  This chore system seemed more […]

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