By Vicki Little
The benefits your children will gain from doing chores are numerous. They feel more of a part of the family when they contribute to it, they learn to do their part, they learn responsibility, they learn life skills that will continue long after they have left the nest-the list goes on and on. It is a family decision on whether the kids should be paid for the chores that they do, and how many they do, but here are five chores that children of all ages can and should do on their own.
1. Being responsible for their own laundry: No, they don’t have to sort and wash just yet, but they should put their own clothes in the designated basket and put the folded clothes away. I did try having my younger children help me fold their clothes-they liked it but I did not. That will have to wait.
2. Being responsible for their own messes: Whether they are playing with toys or bikes, they should put away what they have used when they are done with it. And, despite what my kids think, put away does not mean hidden in the closet.
3. Get themselves ready: The level of this chore can increase with age, but they should be able to put on their own clothes (pick them out when they are old enough), brush their teeth and make their bed. Just grit your teeth and resolve not to fix the messy bed until after they have left. If they gave it an honest effort that is all you can expect.
4. Helping with meal prep: Most children love to help with dinner in whatever way they can! As they get older the responsibilities can increase, but kids of all ages can put napkins and their drink on the table, stir something or help put spices in, and get the bread out.
5. Help after meals: All kids should take their own plates to the sink and/or dishwasher, throw their napkin in the trash, and help clear the table. Even young kids can help wipe off the table, and as they get older they can help more with dishes or sweep the floor.
What age did your children start their chores? What was their first one?
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. When she isn’t writing or trying to keep up with her kids she can be found volunteering, reading, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
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