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The Value and Benefits of Age Appropriate Chores

Posted by Kim Schlauch on Sep 23, 2014 6:00:00 AM

chores

Lessons in responsibility are an important part of your child’s development.  Providing opportunities for your child to make decisions, answer for his behavior, and show that he has earned your trust can go a long way in helping him develop this valuable trait needed for success in life.  A great way to teach your children responsibility is to assign them chores.  But before you start filling out that chore chart, you need to make sure the jobs you assign your children are age appropriate.

Expecting your child to complete chores that are too complex for her can be overwhelming and frustrating.  On the other hand, assigning only chores that are below your child’s skill level may result in her developing low expectations of herself as well as the idea that she is not trusted to do more.

How can you determine what is age appropriate for your child?  The following lists offer guidelines to consider for children in preschool, elementary school, and middle school:

Preschool

Children in this age range are eager to help and can handle simple one- or two-step jobs.  Chore ideas include:

  • Putting napkins out for dinner

  • Emptying wastebaskets

  • Placing their clothes in the hamper

  • Bringing in the mail and newspaper

  • Putting away their toys

  • Matching socks in the laundry

  • Helping to carry lighter groceries into the house

Elementary School

As children get older and their motor skills become more developed, they can begin to take on tasks that are a little more involved, such as:

  • Setting and clearing the dinner table

  • Sweeping the floors

  • Weeding and raking leaves

  • Sorting laundry

  • Making and packing lunch

  • Vacuuming

  • Putting away groceries

 

Middle School

Children in this stage are more independent and can handle a higher level of responsibility than the younger children.  Examples of chores for this age range include:

  • Washing the car

  • Unloading the dishwasher

  • Taking the dog for walks

  • Folding laundry

  • Assisting with younger siblings

  • Changing their bed sheets

  • Cleaning the bathroom

girl_washing_car

These suggestions reflect the general types of activities children in each of these age ranges are capable of completing.  Because each child matures at a different pace, it is important for you to customize your child’s chore list based on his individual skill and developmental level.  Regardless of the specific tasks you assign your child, be sure to set clear expectations up front and provide positive and constructive feedback on a regular basis.

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Topics: Parenting Tips

About the Author

Kim is the blog content manager at Liberty Christian School. She has professional experience in the fields of business and education and hands-on experience as the mother of two school-age children. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and anything chocolate.