Back in the day, getting paid for doing chores was absolutely unheard of. Chores were a way for children to contribute to the family and parents would reward their children financially if and when they wanted to. Nowadays it’s the opposite. Kids expect an allowance and many parents are all too ready to pay a child for chores they should be doing anyway. You don’t charge your child for cooking his dinner, do you? Then they shouldn’t be charging you for clearing off the table!
If you haven’t yet integrated mandatory chores as a routine element in your child’s personal development, it’s time to start. Here are some age-appropriate chores that most children should be required to do and do for free.
Five to Seven Years Old: Clear the Table Separate Laundry Clean Your Room. I’ve heard many people say that a five or six-year-old child is too young to have household responsibilities. While it’s true that I wouldn’t make a five-year-old mop the floor or dust the furniture, he or she can help clear dishes off the table, separate the laundry into darks and lights and pick up their own room each and every night before bed.
Eight to Ten Years Old: Wipe Down Bathrooms Vacuum Carpets. Between the ages of eight and ten, your child should start taking on chores of a more significant nature. An eight-year-old can learn how to vacuum and a ten-year-old should be able to wipe down the bathroom mirrors and counters on a weekly basis.
Ten to Twelve Years Old: Help With Yard Work Take Out the Trash. Chores don’t have to revolve around inside work. A ten to twelve-year-old can work on the outside of the house too. Picking up branches, raking leaves and shoveling snow are great ways for children to help take some pressure off their parents. They can also help by taking the garbage out on garbage day and bringing the trash cans back to the house after the garbage has been picked up.
Thirteen to Sixteen Years Old: Wash Floors Help With Meals. Between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, your children really should begin learning skills they’ll need when they’re out on their own. By giving them chores to do, you’ll help them learn the things they don’t teach in schools. Cleaning the kitchen and washing floors seems simple, but they need to be done properly. By having them perform this task at home, they’ll know how to do it when they move out on their own.
You can also have a child of this age help prepare the meals. Have your daughter cut up a salad while you prepare the pasta or have your son prepare the corn on the cob while you grill the chicken.
While your children probably won’t be overjoyed with the new responsibilities they’re being given, it’s really for their own good. Everyone is part of the family and each person should contribute in age-appropriate ways. As the famous saying goes “One day they’ll thank you for it.”