Chores are important for kids. Chores give children a chance to: 1) learn work ethic, 2) receive words of thanks from their parents 3) experience the feeling of accomplishment, 4) learn how to manage aspects of a successful home 5) feel a sense of belonging to the family and 6) a chance to grow in responsibility.
Allowances (if any), age when a child gets assinged chores and consistency of the schedule is up to the family. At the start of each newly assigned chore, do it with them. Show them how. Give them feedback. Teach them the tricks. Let them do it for you then next time. Eventually turn them loose on their own and follow up with a check, feedback and encouragement. It’s also good to set an expectation about when it will be complete.
There may be other chores your children already have, but here are 5 chores every kid should do:
Match socks / fold towels / clothes – Matching socks, folding towels and getting clothes together after the laundry is finished is a great way to involve kids of all ages. A kid from 2 years old up to high school can help. This chore teaches basics skills for younger children and teaches a servant’s heart to older children, who will be folding these towels, socks and clothes for everyone in the family, not just themselves.
Take out trash – A younger child might help collect the trash or fill the little trash cans with bags. As a child gets older the full job can be done from collection during the week as needed to taking it out on the right night. This chore teaches the need to accomplish something that everyone else is counting on – weekly removal of trash. It also teaches about the reality of deadlines.
Set the table – This chore is great for kids of all ages and there are many benefits. When the table is set, even for a simple meal, people are more likely to sit there. Setting the table teaches skills of creativity and organization. Some kids even begin to get creative with decorations. I heard of one family that had a special, unique plate that was used to give to someone in the family on special occasions. Who ever set the table got the chance to choose who would get the special plate that evening.
Pick Up Their Stuff – This may not be a chore as much as just good manners. But it’s important to pick some time slots when clutter will be moved and kids will tidy up their stuff around their room and house. Instead of spending the day yelling over little things, pick one time frame where everyone will clean up their clutter. This chore teaches personal responsbility.
Wash The Car (& Other Outdoor Projects) This is a great chore because it typically happens with more than one person and it allows for conversation and connection. It also builds in physical activity and exercise as the chore is happening. Pulling weeds, sweeping the garage, and any of these routine, outdoor things are great to assign to your kids any chance you get. This chore also teaches that you stick with something until it is finished.