5 Reasons Children Should Help Clean The House

5 Reasons Children Should Help Clean The House

If your children help make the house messy, shouldn’t they help clean the house? Yes! In fact, one of the most loving things you can do for your children is to teach them how to care for their belongings and help around the house. And it’s not because you’re the meanest parent on the block.

1) Serving family members is a way to show love and appreciation

We delight in showing our children that we love them by making them special treats, taking them to fun places, snuggling, and a host of other ways. Teaching them how to help with chores is a great way to let them show love for others too.

Little girl putting away laundry with her mom
2) We all love having something we’re special at

Giving your child chores and teaching them to be the ‘expert’ gives them a well-earned sense of pride.

3) Sharing chores with a sibling is a great way to teach cooperation

When you institute a “no one is done until everyone is done” policy, children are motivated to help their siblings get their work done too.

Little boy vacuuming
4) Our children will be roommates and spouses one day

If you don’t teach your child how to help around the house, they’ll struggle later when their roommates, landlords, and spouse expect them to keep their living space habitable.

5) Chores provide an opportunity to teach about money management

Paying your children to do chores is totally up to you as the parent. If you do choose to pay your children, they now have money of their own which gives you the opportunity to teach them how to manage it.

What chores can children do?

The types of chores children can do and the ages they can begin doing them varies. The chart below works well for most children.

 

Chore Initial Age of Capability
Bring laundry to washer 3
Sort laundry into dark and light loads 4
Make bed each day 3-4
Set and clear the table 3-4
Wipe baseboards 4-6
Put soap and clothes in washer and start it (may need a step stool) 5
Transfer laundry from washer to dryer and start dryer 5
Take laundry out of dryer and put in baskets for different family members and/or fold laundry 5-6
Take laundry baskets from laundry room to final destination 5-6 (depends if carrying a basket up or down stairs is required)
Dust 5-6
Clear dishwasher 5-6
Vacuum 6-8
Wash and dry dishes 6-8
Gather trash throughout the house 6-8
Clean bathrooms (may be limited for shower cleaning due to height) 7-9
Help make meals 7-10  (younger children can make sandwiches and easier items while older children can handle items that require use of the microwave and/or stove and oven)
Take trash to curb 8-10
CHORE/INITIAL AGE OF CAPABILITY
Bring laundry to washer – Age 3
Sort laundry into dark & light loads – Age 4
Make bed each day – Age 3-4
Set and clear the table – Age 3-4
Wipe baseboards – Age 4-6
Put soap and clothes in washer and start it – Age 5
Transfer laundry from washer to dryer and start dryer – Age 5
Take laundry out of dryer and put it in baskets for family

members and/or fold laundry – Age 5-6

Take laundry baskets from laundry room to final

destination – Age 5-6

Dust – Age 5-6
Clear dishwasher – Age 5-6
Vacuum – Age 6-8
Wash and dry dishes – Age 6-8
Gather trash throughout the house – Age 6-8
Clean bathrooms – Age 7-9
Help make meals (younger children can make sandwiches

and easier items while older children can handle items

that require use of the microwave and/or range) – Age 7-10

Take trash to curb – Age 8-10

We recommend the following assignments:

~ 3-5 year olds – 1 chore/week

~ 6-9 year olds – 2 chores/week

~ 10+ year olds – 3 chores/week

I’m ready to ask my kids to help! What’s next?

The first step is teaching your children how to do their chores. Allowing a child to perform a task poorly creates bad habits and a bad work ethic that should be avoided at all costs. To teach a chore, the parent should:

~ Explain what needs to be done, why it’s important, and the frequency it will be repeated

~ Demonstrate the chore the first couple times

~ The third time the chore is performed, the child does the chore and the parent watches. Give helpful tips (but not criticism) as needed.

~ If the child has mastered the chore, it’s now theirs. If not, the fourth time the chore is performed, watch the child again and give helpful tips. If the child still isn’t performing the chore well, step back and assess what the problem is. Is the chore truly beyond the child’s capability? Is the child refusing to learn? Have you been clear in the training? Is there a better way to explain what you want? Be confident that your child can do this chore if it’s age-appropriate and has been well demonstrated.

~ Once a child is doing the chore, inspect their work the first 2-3 times they fly solo and periodically after that. You aren’t looking for perfection but you do want them to do the very best they can and respect their own work.

 

Teamwork is one of the best ways to build a strong, happy family. Teach your children how to be part of your family team and everyone benefits.

Family doing chores together

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