07 Nov Chores: When is a good time to start?
Few days ago I asked my fourteen year old to prepare some oatmeal flour for her dad. The feedback I got was ” that oatmeal was the best I have had in a while”. Hmmm, in my mind I thought that was a father trying to encourage his daughter. I later asked my daughter how she actually prepared it, just to be sure she followed the steps I had taught her, but she said she had to use another method. I promptly recognised her ingenuity.
Where am I going with this? That child you consider young to take on house chores and certain responsibilities is actually more capable than you maybe thinking. Don’t look down on that toddler or that preteen think all he/she is good for is the television or school work to keep them busy and out of your way.
These children, even at a young age can be taught early to be responsible.
There are age appropriate chores you can introduce into their daily routine. These chores are not stressful and are safe and can be made fun for the child if you can think up creative ways of engaging them, for instance you could work alongside the child, make it FUN. It could be a wonderful family bond builder.
Also for clarification purpose, I am not referring only to the girl child. All children (boys and girls) need to be trained both in house chores (an ongoing task that benefits the household) and life skills (an activity that children should know how to do before living on their own, such as managing a bank account, paying utility bills) Create a gender-free ground when it comes to chores, a girl can change a light bulb just as much as a boy can wash dishes.
While it can be easier for us moms to just do the work ourselves, you could be robbing your children of important life lessons. By doing age appropriate chores, your child will feel like an important part of the family, and build their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. They also develop patience, learn to work alongside their siblings thereby learning teamwork.
Today more than ever it is becoming increasingly necessary to equip the 21st child all round as this gives a better chance of survival as you are teaching them how the world works, how their actions make an impact and how to be productive citizens of the world.
And trust me your future daughter or son in law will thank you!!!
Age-Appropriate Chores for Children
Begin to dress self
Put plates and cups in dishwasher
Help make bed—at least pull covers up
Help wipe up spills
Pick up toys
Dry unbreakable dishes
Carry laundry to and from laundry area
Help fold towels
Empty light trash cans
Carry plate to sink after meals
Help pick up living room
Help in kitchen—getting condiments, drying dishes
Make own bed
Clear dishes from table
Help carry and put away groceries
Retrieve the mail
Wash toys when needed
Help wash car and clean interior
Sort clean clothes by family member
Sort dirty clothes by color
Put away own clothes—put dirty clothes in laundry basket
Hang towels after bath
Help load dishwasher
Straighten up house
Take care of pets—clean cages and feed them
Wash, dry, and put away dishes
Clean bathroom completely
Cook simple foods—use simple recipes
Weed and water garden
Make school lunches
Use washer and dryer
Help with yard work
Take out trash
Help wash car
Strip and change beds
Wash, hang, and fold laundry
Vacuum, sweep, and mop
Ages 13 and up
Any of the above, plus:
Change light bulbs
Do all laundry functions
Wash inside and outside windows
Do clothes mending, repairs
Clean out refrigerator
Clean stove and oven
Wash and polish car
Prepare a meal
Maintain personal And household equipment such as bicycles,
Make grocery lists
Shop for groceries
Best Wishes to all Mummies