Never do for a child what he can do for himself. A “dependent” child is a demanding child…Children become irresponsible only when we fail to give them opportunities to take responsibility.

—Rudolf Dreikurs and Margaret Goldman

Common Chores for Kids

Ages 4-6

  • Make bed;
  • Put clothes in hamper;
  • Pick up toys;
  • Unload utensils;
  • Help clear off table.

little boy and girl washing dishesAges 7-10

  • Set and clear table;
  • Sweep floor;
  • Help load the dishwasher.

Age 11-12

  • Vacuum;
  • Wipe counters;
  • Load and unload the dishwasher.

Chores are necessary for children for a number of reasons:

  • Chores give your child a sense of accomplishment.

Simple things like making their bed, setting the table for dinner or feeding the dog, teach the child that they are competent.

  • Chores teach children that they are a part of something.

This shows them that not one person is responsible for the house. The home is for everyone in the family to live in, which means everyone needs to be responsible and help out.

Take the time to teach your child the correct way to complete the task.

If your child isn’t doing it as well as you would like, don’t be quick to jump in and do it for them. Remember, they are still young; practice and guidance is what they need. Supervise your child until you feel she/he can do it solo. Encourage your child with praise during and after the task.

Should children get an allowance for doing chores?

My answer would be no. The day-to-day chores that are expected of a child should not be rewarded with money. This goes back to chores teaching children they are part of something. If they get paid for everything they do around the house, they are not being held accountable for helping out because they are part of the family. Rewarding with money also gives a child the option not to do it, which should not be an option. Larger tasks around the house, such as raking the leaves, can be used to help children earn an allowance and learn about money.

Kids learn by doing so don’t hold off. It’s never too early to teach a child about responsibility. If your child is not doing chores yet, start this week by making a chore chart with your child or buying one that you can reuse weekly. Make sure to discuss responsibility and the importance of helping out.

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