With summer break just around the corner, the kids are about to have a whole bunch of free time on their hands. Of course, NOBODY wants to spend that time doing chores, but Child Development and Parenting expert Caron Irwin says that there are definitely age-appropriate tasks around the house that kids can – and should – be doing.
Pitching in to some easy chores can be way more beneficial than just keeping the house a bit tidier! It can build skills like responsibility, autonomy, and confidence, and even go as far as instilling a sense of belonging. These benefits of chores, on top of how they develop key life skills, means that no matter how much the kids complain, it’s good for them in the long run.
What age should they start doing chores?
As early as three years old!
At three, they can help by doing simple stuff like filling up the dog bowl, bringing dishes to the sink, cleaning up their toys, and putting their shoes away. At five, they can set the table, clear the dishes, water the flowers, make their beds, and put their laundry away. At eight, loading the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, taking out the garbage, and raking/shoveling are all things they can start doing that are super important life skills.
How do I encourage positivity around chores?
We all want to avoid the ‘do your chores’ eye-roll, but it can seem impossible when all the kids want to do is play with their toys or friends. Check out these suggestions for keeping chores fun that can totally spin perception of doing work around the house.
- Using a ‘chore chart’ with stickers to build pride and accomplishment
- Make it fun – for example, put a basketball hoop over the laundry hamper
- Allowance for above and beyond chores, because it teaches them financial literacy and the value of money