Do you believe that childhood should be all fun and games and that adulthood is boring? Parents today try really hard to give their kids an opportunity to stay kids for as long as possible and not have to worry about anything. On the other hand, there are many proofs that different age appropriate chores help kids grow up into more reliable and responsible adults. We give you a list of reasons why age appropriate chores for kids are a good idea.
As they grow, kids have been watching you work around the house and at the age of 2 and 3 they’re very eager to join you. They see every activity as a game and it’s a great way to spark their interest in different chores. Because they can stand, walk, and run on their own, they will be able to pick up things and carry them to another place.
This is an opportunity to teach them to pick up their toys or dirty clothes and place them in the right boxes and baskets. Not only will they become stronger, but they will further develop their fine and gross motor skills.
It seems like every 3 year old boy or girl loves exploring and playing scavenger hunt, and you can use this to inspire them to do more age appropriate chores. They also like spending time with you, so it’s a good opportunity to invite them to help you out when you’re cleaning a room.
What’s important is to make every activity fun for them because they still don’t see a point in cleaning up. Make a small competition between the two of you or them and their siblings to see who can pick up the most toys. You could also show them how to dust furniture and invite them to dust lower shelves while you’re dusting higher ones. This could also become a small competition between the two of you where they’ll learn to be thorough but also feel needed.
At the age of 4 and 5, kids may still seem clumsy, but they’re capable of more than parents might first believe. You can rely on them to do more around the house, and not only will they strive to show that you can trust them, they will put in extra effort because of new and important tasks you give them.
Around this time they might want to show you how neatly they made their beds or straightened the shoes by the door. They no longer need help when emptying smaller trash cans and this further fills them with pride. They can also help with putting away clean laundry, and you can start introducing small prizes alongside praises when they complete a chore.
When they reach the age of 7, children already start having bad attitudes because they’re less motivated to help around the house, but this is the time to introduce allowance. Age appropriate chores and allowance have always been intertwined, so every time your 6 and 7 year old girls and boys vacuum, wipe the dust, and fold their own clothes, they should be given some money.
It doesn’t have to be much, but when they’re allowed to buy something out of money they earned by doing something useful around the house, they will be more likely to do more. What is more, at this age, kids like having more responsibilities than their younger siblings because it makes them feel more important.
While eight year old boys and girls are clearly still kids who want to watch TV and play all day long, they are also able to help with chores more. Some of the age appropriate chores for 8 year olds include doing the laundry and cleaning the shower as well as the tub.
If you’re worried about letting your kid work with harsh chemicals, you can always swap a traditional cleaning solution with the one you can make yourself out of lemon juice and vinegar. Not only are these as effective as store-bought chemicals, they’re safe for kids as well as pets. This is also the right age to start teaching your children to cook, and you can start by inviting them to kitchen and asking them to wash the vegetables or stir the pot.
This is the time when kids really start putting in more effort when doing chores, not just because they want to help you out but because they start taking their allowance more seriously. They might start saving money in order to buy something they like, go out for ice cream or to see a movie with their friends, and it’s up to you to encourage them to keep doing so.
If they suggest you giving them higher allowance, you can reply by offering them to do more around the house: mow the lawn, prepare a meal on their own, do the laundry, vacuum, wash the car… It’s important to have a list of chores they can do, and each one can earn them a certain amount of money. The more they work, the more they will be able to earn, and this will teach them that hard work will pay off.
While you might want to ‘protect’ your children from the reality of adulthood and obligations, when they do chores around the house it helps them on so many levels. Not only do they feel needed and important enough for you to ask them to do something, but they are also learning to be responsible and independent.
When they master basic skills in childhood, they will be able to stay home alone later on, and they will also take good care of their own apartment some day. What is more, some of these chores are can help you bond as a family, especially if you encourage your child to see the tasks as a game rather than as a duty. Chores also help create a work ethic which will help them tremendously when they become adults.
There is a thin line between protecting your children from stress and preventing them from learning useful skills. Children learn both at school and at home, and while teachers will explain chemistry, algebra, and biology, it’s going to be up to you to teach them how to take care of themselves and their home, and age appropriate chores are the best way to do so.
What’s important to remember is that children mature at a different pace, so adjust the chores according to your child’s abilities and talents.