boy, dog

Teaching your children responsibility, self-discipline and perseverance is one of your most important tasks as a parent. While there are different ways to raise responsible children with strong work ethic, assigning them different chores is one of the most effective approaches. However, in order for this approach to yield results, the chores need to be age-appropriate and suitable to your children’s abilities. By giving certain chores to your children, not only will you have a helping hand around the house, but you’ll also help your little ones acquire positive traits and healthy habits.  

father, daughter, walking
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

The importance of giving chores

You’ve probably noticed how your children feel proud of themselves after completing a certain task. They feel as if they made a significant contribution to the well-being of your family. This is because all people need to feel needed and valuable, no matter how young they might be. This is why giving your children certain chores is of the utmost importance. Not only will they feel useful, but they will also develop a sense of responsibility and work ethic. Although it might seem insignificant, but even the simplest chores like tidying up their toys or making their beds can help them become self-sufficient adults. Furthermore, when you give chores to your children, you demonstrate your belief in them. In their eyes, you’re entrusting them with an important task, which will boost their self-esteem significantly.

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Photo by Patricia Prudente

Early development of healthy habits

Many parents postpone giving their children chores, believing that they are still too young. This is a major mistake because you need to help your children acquire healthy habits from an early age. If you postpone it, it will be much more difficult because your children will already have established certain habits. Chores are family routines that your children need to acquire. Since your children are young, you need to go through different chores and show how they need to do them. It might take some time for your kids to get it right, but it’s essential that you remain persistent and consistent both with the rules and your expectations.

However, the issue here is how you can achieve this if your children go to a kindergarten and spend a lot of time in an environment that doesn’t reinforce the habits you wish them to adopt. In such a case, it’s essential that you explore your options and find a reliable daycare like the Young Explorers ELC to ensure that your children spend time in an environment similar to your home that promotes consistency, and that will enable you to follow your children’s learning process and routines. This is of the utmost importance because all of your efforts will be in vain if your home values aren’t compatible with the values of an environment where your children spend a lot of their time.

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Photo by Scott Webb

Age-appropriate chores

When giving chores to your children, it’s essential that they are appropriate to their age and abilities. If the chores are too difficult, your children will be discouraged when they fail, which will reflect onto their self-esteem. Furthermore, you need to keep your children motivated to do chores. Here are various chores appropriate for children of different ages:

  • Toddlers: Children at this stage find chores fun, so find some that will keep them engaged. For example, they can put their toys away, dust, wipe up spills, deliver dirty laundry, sweep the floors, etc.
  • Preschoolers: This is the age when your children already have some skills that they enjoy showing off. Thus, you should introduce chores that will be more specific and that will require independence. They can water the plants, make their own breakfast (but keep it simple), feed pets, bring in mail and newspaper and pull out weeds in the garden.
  • Older children: Grade-schoolers already have certain responsibilities at school, so you shouldn’t hesitate to give them more “demanding” tasks. They can load up the dishwasher, stock up the fridge, pack their own backpacks, set the table, read to younger kids, etc.
  • Tweens: As they approach puberty, tweens begin complaining and revolting against their parents. To keep them motivated, you can pay them for the extra effort they put in. At this age, they can walk the dog, fix their own snacks, babysit for shorter periods of time, wash the car, etc.
  • Teens: Teens can do any of the chores you do, but you need to keep them motivated. The best approach is to pay them for their overall contribution. As for responsibilities, they can do everything from washing their own laundry, to ironing and cooking.

Giving your children chores from an early age will help you teach them responsibility, self-sufficiency and self-discipline, raising strong and independent adults.


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