Don’t shy away from giving your kids chores at a young age.
By Child Development and Parenting Expert Caron Irwin of Roo Parenting
Chores have many benefits for parents and kids – they encourage independence, promote satisfaction, develop life skills, help get things done around the house and naturally instil the feeling of gratitude because children are contributing to the household and they receive your appreciation for helping out. This feels good, encouraging your kids to share this good feeling when others help them out.
Children as young as 18 months
can start helping out around the house. Below is a list of age appropriate chores.
Toddlers (18 months – 3 years)
Tidy up – put shoes or toys away in a bin
Follow directions to put things away (e.g. Can you put this bag by the front door?)
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Set the table
Put laundry away
Sort clothes for washing
School Age (6-10 years)
Take out and put away garbage pails
Rake leaves or shovel snow
Here are quick tips to help encourage your kids to do their chores:
1. In the beginning, do the chore with your kids. This will help your kids understand the chore and the skills needed to complete the job.
2. Don’t micromanage! Over time and with practice your child will get better at completing their chores – if their bed is made but not with tight corners don’t sweat it – focus on the process not the product!
3. Keep it simple. Too many chores is overwhelming – 3-5 chores a day is enough!
4. Communicate chores in an age appropriate way. This helps kids know what is expected of them and puts them in control of getting the chores done.
5. Make it a visual game! Our family has a lot of fun with chores using My Starry Chart. This beautifully visual chore chart uses sparkly, reusable stickers and a goal-structured game-play that gets kids really excited about chores. Plus, it’s a functional calendar to keep track of our busy schedules and multi-educational – kids learn about goal setting, math, the calendar year, reading and writing.
6. Remember to say thank you! Thank your kids for completing their chore. This will feel good and may encourage them to start saying “thank you” to you when you help them out.
To help make chores fun, shop now for My Starry Chart.
About Roo Parenting
Caron Irwin, mother of three, is a Certified Child Life Specialist with a background in Child Development and learning through play. For ten years, she has been supporting children and families through illness at Canada’s largest children’s hospital. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University.
Roo Parenting was created to provide parents with comprehensive, individualized support while fostering and encouraging confidence and enjoyment through the adventures of parenting.