House Chores for Kids: When and How to Promote Them.
Let us put it out in the open: household chores are not a super fun way to spend the time we have, and yet, doing them is utterly necessary to live in a clean and organized environment.
Now, should young children or school-age children have a chore list to follow each day? Or should we just simply let them be free and “be kids”? Is there any benefit in chores for kids, or is it a strategy from parents to keep the house in order?
Let us learn a bit more about when and how to promote house chores for kids to have the better results possible.
What do household tasks teach to our children?
Perhaps one of the most important lessons our kids learn when having and doing a chore around the house is the importance of others to create a peaceful home environment.
What does this mean? Well, children have everything handed to them, which is perfectly natural since they cannot provide things for themselves yet. This gives a sense of entitlement, also natural in children up to a certain age. But, as time goes by, our children must learn that others share that space where everything is designed for them.
When you assign your children a house chore, you are also starting them on a path of being functional adults, a life skill that can be torturous to acquire if it is not nurtured during the early childhood years.
Chores also teach a thing or two about work ethic. After all, when your child does not do the chore assigned to them, other people are affected by that, just like in the real world.
Finally, household tasks teach our children self-fulfillment and discipline being the latter a life skill that can take children to achieve whatever they propose to do.
When should we start?
Like everything in a child’s life, the exposure to chores or responsibilities must be gradual and fitted to the stages of development we all know when it comes to children.
Depending on the age group our child is, there is an age-appropriate chore you can assign, knowing they will be able to carry them on. Here are some of the common recommendations:
- For preschool age
As you can expect, there is not much you can ask of a toddler when it comes to house tasks, but you can start teaching your children about being organized and its importance in daily life.
After each playing session, encourages your children to gather all the toys and put them aside in a box or space you previously designed for that end.
Basically, their chores will be to clean up after themselves as much as they can.
- School-age children
Once our children are in school, their home duties will increase significantly as they will have homework and other projects from different assignments.
This means that, even though we want our children to help around the house, they will have other priorities, therefore, the tasks we assign to them should be simple and easy to follow. Here are some examples:
- Set the table when the family is about to eat.
- Take out the trash once a week.
- Doing the dishes once a week.
- Keep their bedrooms organized.
- Taking clothes to the laundry room.
As you can see, the simple, the better. Why? Because we do not want to complicate our children’s lives even more by creating an endless chore list that can put unnecessary extra pressure on our children to comply with certain house tasks.
As they grow up, you can make those chores a more regular thing. Instead of doing the dishes once a week, you can bump it up to 4 times and do the same with other chores until all become a part of your children/teenager routine.
What about rewards and punishment?
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool we can use in different life situations to communicate to our children how good they are doing.
If you have a chore list at home, you can try to make things fun and competitive by adding points for every chore well done. However, you must be careful with this particular strategy since children should also learn that there are some things in life we must do and nobody will give us a prize for that.
The same goes for the “punishment” part of the equation. Despite your children must learn that there are consequences for not doing the things we are supposed to do, we can not take it to the extreme of punishment with no playtime.
Pediatricians and professionals in education agree on the importance of not suspending play time for children as a form of punishment.
At Spimbey, we want every child to grow into functional adults that can do good for the world, but we cannot improve the world if we are a mess, right? Promote chores for children as a way to teach them to be organized and help others for a common cause.
And when the chores are all done, you can go and play with one of our modular outdoor playsets and keep the fun alive.
Check our website and explore the different options we have to level up the fun.