With only so many hours in a day, parents need to advise children on how to spend their time and determine what is most important. When parents allow their children to complete self-care tasks and help with household chores, they (parents) equip children with the skills to function independently in the outside world.
Increased sense of responsibility
Research shows that holding your children accountable for their chores can increase a sense of responsibility. Children will feel more capable for having met their obligations when they have completed their tasks.
Use time wisely
Setting time aside each week to have all chores done will also give them a sense of time management and prioritisation. Having the entire family chip in at the same time also helps.
Make chores personalised. This is important because you’re teaching your child self-reliance. For younger children who may find difficulty in completing tasks, it is understandable that you may have to offer assistance.
Foster a better family relationship
However, you choose to allocate chores to your child/children is entirely up to you. The important thing is that you don’t do it in such a way, that your child equates chores with punishment. Let them know the importance of it, and use it as an opportunity to get tasks done together as a family, fostering a better family relationship.
Assigning chores by age
- 4 and 5 years old: Sort socks, put away toys, help set the table.
- 6 and 7 years old: Empty the dishwasher, make the bed, prepare lunch, take care of animals.
- 8 and 9 years old: Set the table, load the dishwasher, clean the bathroom sink.
- 10 and 11 years old: Take out trash, wash the dishes, fold laundry, put away groceries.
- 12 and 13 years old: Do laundry and put it away, make simple meals, clean the shower and toilet, change sheets.
For parents who did not begin a chore regimen when their children were younger, it is never too late; you can still start a plan now. Take some time to think about what tasks you need help with, what life skills your children need to learn, and what are each child’s interests and abilities.