I think chores are an integral part of raising a child for many reasons. The amount of people who do not understand that life is work amazes me daily. The entitlement era is a real thing y’all; but not on my watch. A lot of people have criticized the chores I expect out of my monsters, and are then amazed at the monster squad’s capabilities. From the time they were 3 each of them knew how to run a vacuum cleaner. My inexperience with children prior to having my own actually worked in their favor in a lot of ways. I didn’t know that a 3 year old “couldn’t” do chores. I saw him working that tablet like nobody’s business and my mind translated that to- well then he can flip a button and push.
Your child is more capable than you know and doing everything for him is only holding him back.
Chores for first 2 years
Ok, that first 23 months is pushing it even for me. Until they were 2 my monsters were allowed to do basically what ever they wanted. Don’t want them getting into that? Put it away. The average 2 yr old is less than 3 feet tall and shelves are a wonderful thing! The world is new to them and they are exploring it. I say let them! Obviously, keep them away from situations that may hurt them. They don’t need first hand experience what happens if they run out in front of a car.
By the way- my sole us of he/him pronouns does not discount that you may have a little girl. My beastie is only 1 though. She does what she wants when she wants to. The vast majority of my parenting experience has been with boys. You can read about my struggles with being a girl parent so far here.
Chores for 2-4 year olds
First they start picking up after themselves. He is perfectly capable of taking his plate to the sink after dinner. Dirty clothes go to the laundry basket. If he can get the toys out he can take them back. After dinner can get hectic with 6 people going to the sink at once, but the important thing is the seed being planted. He is responsible for himself. By 3 or 4 years old this is expanded into “team” thinking. We are responsible for our family. Stacking wood, vacuuming the floor, wiping the table, and other simple chores are added in. This is also the age that they love to help. What ever you’re doing they want to help. Even though it can get frustrating and take twice as long, let them. It makes it easier to teach them when it is their job.
This age group still needs a lot of supervision. I know it would be easier and faster to just do it yourself. That is robbing your child of independence though.
Chores for 5-9 year olds
At this point I had a 5 year old, a 6 year old, and a 9 year old. Having all these kids in the same room picking up, sweeping, and wiping was too many people in the same room. So they were introduced to the 3 steps and assigned their own rooms. Monster 1 cleans the kitchen, Monster 2 gets the bathroom, and Monster 3 gets the dining room. Eventually, Monsters 2 and 3 gained another room each.
Chores at your house
Chores can be what ever works best for you. Look at your child’s capabilities and assign appropriately. If they can work the Wii = they can work the wash machine. Chore charts can work for organization if there are some that the children take turns on. Taking out the trash and cleaning the litter box would be two examples.
What do you think about assigning chores? What kind of chores do you expect your kid’s to do?