Life requires us to manage ourselves, our homes, our friends, and our job. Also, the relationships we have and ev. even a family.
That’s why we think the first thing to consider before handing out chores is what you want with them.
Do you want chores that make your life easier or do you want chores that teach your Child life abilities? This is a very important distinction because there is quite a difference between them. A lot of traditional chores might make our life easier but are not really of a teaching effect to our kids except maybe learning to do things on a regular routine. On the other hand, if you want to teach your kids intelligent chores they will, in the beginning, produce extra work because they are more advanced and need some training. In the end, be a real help because they actually help and are not just activation therapy to keep your child occupied.
For example: if you have your children set the table every dinner for years then the child will learn to set the table but this will happen very fast. It can be a wonderful chore but the learning effect of how to set the table will be over very soon. If you make your child the Hallway- Chef it will take a much bigger learning time. Because it is very advanced to learn. it requires you to look every time you walk by – every time someone comes home it might be a mess again … This will train the eye of your child to see chores and be actually responsible. Also because your Child is a Chef they will learn the system of being responsible for others. If you catch those who do not do as they should you can tell them politely to clean up. If you do it impolite you will probably get a negative response and if you do it too late they might already be gone and you have to do it for them. And as a bonus – they get to correct mommy and daddy too. Same politeness rules according as mentioned above. Both mentioned Chores are just perfect for Kindergarten aged Children.
Another Question is the one about the reward. Shall your Children be paid for chores or not? To answer this question we will have to take a big step into the teenage years. One day they will refuse to do chores just because of so… What will you do? Take away their salary and then they still don`t do it? Will it be ok for them to skip chores if they don’t need your money?
That might sound extreme but that’s where you will stand one day. Find an answer that fits you.
The other approach would be – chores are a matter of family. We belong together we live together and we work together. Mommy also does not get paid for doing the dishes. That’s life. We do it because we are family. But there might be extra chores that could earn money. Or you make family money where children can earn points for extra chores… later with those points maybe they can buy an outing or event that they earned and chose. My Kids loved to buy a Sweet Lunch instead of the veggie Lunch every once in a while with their extra points. Also, a big favorite was to buy a water balloon fight with mommy or a snowball fight. Mommy had to do these things even if she did not really feel like it and they loved the power to make me do it 😉 the more I suffered the better… lol
So basically it is about 2 points.
1. Do I want them to learn something or make my life easier short term
2. Do I pay them or will it be a matter of belonging to the family just as an allowance will be too?
Age-appropriate chores are for example:
Age 2; filling up toilet paper throughout the house and learning to check if it is needed. Get undressed alone, and clean the stairs with a tiny vacuum cleaner or wet cloth. Putting away the silverware after washing.
Age 3; Entrance Chef, cleaning up outdoors every evening, helping check if all chores are done. Putting away laundry or groceries with help. Go outside to play. Get ready for bed alone and call for toothbrushing after all is done.
Age 4; Brush teeth in the mornings alone, learn time to be up in their room, and be on time to get ready. Set the table even for a Sunday brunch. Cut and peel veggies, and bring dirty laundry to the laundry room.
Age 5; learn to cook simple things like pancakes and waffles and such. Make the bed and open the windows in the morning before coming for breakfast. Learn to use cell phones and regular phones to call parents in the case. Learn to handle the phone for emergencies. Learn to manage cleaning up their stuff all alone.
6 years; Really use the time and wear a watch, learn to handle sharp knives and work with them (wood and food) bring a sibling to the bus, handle teeth without being remembered. Go to bed without being remembered and get ready all alone. Learn to handle allowance. Feed animals and clean animals
….. and later:
learn to make homework all alone
come home on time
Cook a meal once a week
Buy their own lunches for school and plan for them
to be responsible for a bathroom, and the family room to make sure everyone cleans up after. Putting away toys throughout the house. Bathroom chef, Yard chef, Lawn Chef, Car chef (cleaning and all)
Help to manage the family finances, watch siblings, and learn to give money and toys to people in need. Wash one load of laundry a week, learn to handle the internet and then use it to pay bills for the family, Batterie chef (make sure to charge all those toys and gadgets) Manage their own free time, sort the laundry, bake, agenda management, go to the vet and be responsible for the pet, learn to ride bus and train and buy tickets…
basically, the possibilities are endless but try to bring those abilities to your child before the age of 12
You will be busy enough later with other things
And as always on our posts… You are very welcome to ask, comment, and questions! We are here to interact with you!