If you find yourself feeling over-exhausted at the end of the night after racing to complete the day’s chores at home, it may be time to get help from your kids!
Apart from easing your load, there are many benefits of getting kids to help in house chores from as early as possible, such as:
- It helps them understand the value of teamwork
- It instils discipline in them when they make an effort to complete their daily assigned chores
- It gives them confidence in their own abilities and teaches them domestic skills they’ll need later on in life
- It teaches them about responsibility, and how to look after themselves and others
- It makes them realise that Mum is not there just to pick up and clean up after them. This helps to ease any frustration or negative feelings you may have about being taken for granted.
“Chores are a normal part of everyday life and it is important that children learn to understand this as young as possible,” says Sarah Ockwell-Smith, author of ToddlerCalm, an empowering guide to help parents of toddlers confidently enjoy the first years with their child. “Children need to understand that they are expected to contribute to all parts of family life,” she adds.
Expert Advice on Getting Kids to Help Out with Chores
While some kids jump in at the opportunity to help out with house chores, not all will show the same level of enthusiasm.
Sarah emphasises that when we, as parents, start incorporating age-appropriate chores in our kids’ daily life from toddlerhood, they are more likely to accept them as part of life rather than finding means and ways to escape from doing chores. This, in turn, creates a happier home environment where arguments and resistance towards house chores are kept minimal. “If the child sees their chores as an everyday expectation, you are likely to experience a harmonious household for as long as they live with you,” she adds.
However, experts advise parents to keep the chores assigned to their children age-appropriate to ensure that they are developmentally ready to tackle those tasks.
Chores for 2- and 3-year-olds
Put away their own toys
Tip: Make this into a game by putting on a timer. The person who cleans up the quickest is the winner.
Put their dirty clothes into the laundry basket
Dust furniture alongside with Mum/Dad
Chores for 4- and 5-year-olds
- Make their own beds in the morning
- Clear the table after each meal
- Wipe dry clean dishes
- Fill a pet’s water and food bowls (with supervision)
- Clean floors with a dry mop
- Hang up towels in bathrooms
- Help to carry light groceries
Chores for 6- and 7-year-olds
- Sort out and fold the clean laundry
- Set the table and clear it after each meal
- Keep their own bedroom neat and tidy
- Make themselves a bowl of cereal
- Clean floors with vacuum and wet mop
- Help out with food preparation
- Empty rubbish bins in the house
- Answer home phone with supervision
Chores for 8- and 9-year-olds
- Make their own breakfast (e.g. Toast with spread)
- Put away groceries
- Wash dishes
- Put dirty laundry to wash with supervision
- Clean the bathroom and kitchen with supervision
- Wash the family car with supervision
Chores for 10-year-olds and above
- Cook simple meals like pasta and sauce with supervision
- Load and unload the washing machine
- Change the sheets and covers on their bed
- Change/clean the vacuum bag
- Clean mirrors
- Clean windows with supervision
- Babysit younger siblings
Written by Justina Goh