Deciding on age-appropriate chores for your kids can be tricky. Making sure those chores get done can be even more challenging. While it might seem easier to avoid the struggle to get kids motivated to do their chores, there are many benefits to assigning daily chores to kids.
Learn about how your kids can benefit from chores, some age-appropriate chore ideas, and how to keep them motivated and engaged.
The Benefits of Kids Doing Chores
If it feels like you’re pulling teeth to get your kids to complete their weekly chores, you’re not alone. And while it might be an easier short-term strategy to do the chores yourself, there are many benefits to holding your kids accountable for fulfilling their daily household responsibility.
Assigning individual chores to each family member can actually make them feel more like a part of the family team. When you decide to shoulder the burden of all household chores, you miss out on one of the best bonding experiences. Even though they would probably rather indulge in a little screen time, they’ll eventually look forward to spending time with you – even if you are only doing chores.
Believe it or not, the simple practice of implementing a list of chores can help set them up to be successful adults. Creating a chore system for your kids also helps teach them responsibility and accountability.
While you know (very well) that life requires you to do tasks that you don’t always enjoy, young kids don’t understand this concept well. At a young age, humans are very self-centered. It’s up to us as parents to teach them to be concerned for collective needs – not just their own.
Extra chores for kids can also instill a sense of confidence, independence, self-control, and self-sufficiency. When they learn chore skills, they continually learn to rely upon themselves to complete simple household tasks.
Chore Ideas for Every Age
If you’re working on making a chore chart for your kids, here are a few age-appropriate chore ideas for kids that you can use to help assign responsibilities.
- Toddlers (2 – 4 years old): Put away toys, get dressed on their own, sort dishes (like cups or silverware)
- School-age kids (5 – 8 years old): make beds, help feed pets, put laundry away
- Middle school (9 – 11): load/unload the dishwasher, make lunch, clean bathrooms/bedrooms, mow the lawn
The Secret to Making Sure Chores Get Done
Here’s the secret to making sure those chores get done that most people won’t tell you: it’s up to you to model the good behavior you expect from your children.
If you’re reluctant to do dishes or complain about cleaning the bathroom, your kids will see this. And probably model that behavior. Even if you don’t feel like taking out the trash, do it willingly so that they will model good, responsible behavior.
Making a weekly chore chart can help bring visibility and clarity to chores. Plus, checking off a chore for the day can feel like a reward for your child. You can use a dry erase marker and board to stay flexible.
Or you can use a printable chore chart for kids and let them mark their daily chores as completed with fun little stickers. There’s a wide range of free printable chore charts on the internet, so you don’t need to worry about investing a whole lot of time into this simple task.
Remember: Be consistent. Hold them accountable if they don’t do their chores. Assign responsibilities and reward them with praise or privileges when they complete their chores successfully and on time.
Some parents allow their children to earn money when they complete chores. Other parents create a non-monetary reward system that uses privileges (like screen time) to incentivize the process. Sometimes a simple “thank you” or praise for good behavior can be enough motivation to get your kids to do the right thing.
Over time, it will become easier, and you will have to ask less often. Remember that there will be times that they honestly forget. Learning responsibility doesn’t happen overnight, so it may take months (or even years) for a solid pattern of habits to stick permanently.
Conclusion: Your Kids Benefit from Making Chores Fun
Chores don’t need to feel like hard work. Making chores fun can help motivate your kids to make contributions to the family household willingly. The secret is to pick age-appropriate chore assignments, track progress, and model good behavior. When chores are completed successfully, reward your kids with praise, privilege, or even a monetary allowance.
Be patient and remember that these routines will become easier and like second nature for your kids. Plus, they’ll learn life-long lessons that will help them become more independent, successful adults in the future.