Regardless of age, the word chores induce dramatic eye rolls and chesty groans. But, they are part of our everyday family life.
When it comes to kids, chores are how they learn to complete necessary tasks and develop certain skills. But, they do more than that. Household duties help tiny humans establish independence and build a healthy self-esteem.
One of the most challenging parts of chores and children is that parents have to balance fun yet treat the tasks as if they are a job–because they are. You are teaching them life skills such as responsibility, accountability, time management, and honesty.
Start Young, Stay Consistent
The recommended age to start introducing chores is around three years old. If you set a weekly schedule up early, you establish expectations and routine as they grow up and take on more responsibilities.
The older they get, you can start to consider things like allowances. Handling their own money helps guide them towards understanding money management–saving, investing, and donating. Money is not the only reward, either. Not all families can afford a kiddy stipend, and that is okay. Screen and play time are great negotiation tools, too.
The first chore most children will ever get is to pick up their toys, but it can be the hardest lesson of them all.
The task itself is easy. But, how do you talk a toddler into cleaning up after themselves? You can turn it into a game or do it with them for the first couple of weeks. They will begin to mimic and mirror your behavior and actions.
Kidlets might have tiny hands, but they are helpful. Washing produce, separating laundry, and holding a dustpan are examples of how to show them they are needed. It boosts their self-esteem and creates excitement for the next chore, instead of dread.
We watch our kids grow up so fast. A lot can happen in a year. By the age of four, they are ready to start learning how to do things independently. The obvious duty is to tidy their room and keep some organization.
Wiping down low shelves, sorting groceries, and putting them away makes a kid feel important, and that goes a long way to making them feel good about themselves.
5 to 6-Year-Olds
Around five years old, children are beginning their academic journey. Finding a rhythm and balance might take a while, but they are ready to take extra responsibilities.
The first task to tackle is teaching them to get dressed independently. It is about them learning to identify clothing that fits and is suitable for the weather. It is vital to let tiny humans express themselves, and sometimes they can only do that through their appearance. Give them boundaries for places like school and church.
A great way to introduce responsibilities is through a pet. Be it a fish or a dog, they will learn how to take care of others and expand their capacity for empathy.
7 to 10-Year-Olds
We strive to provide our kids the best tools for success. The last couple of years before they enter tweendom are the most crucial to their future success.
Meal prep and washing the after-dinner dishes give them a head start towards independence. Teaching them recipes and having them observe the process develops several skill sets, including following directions.
Some chores are fun, family affairs like yard work. Assigning different people to different tasks builds teamwork skills. Pulling weeds and watering plants gives them a sense of responsibility, too. The pet does not always have to be furry. When a child enters those double number years, things begin to get more complicated. But, there are ways to balance out their time, too. Remember–the skills you teach little humans during those early years stick with them for a lifetime.