Although they will be relying on their parents early on in their childhood, children will mature and develop faster if they are exposed to chores. It will also prepare them for their future as well.
Developing work ethics
Teaching your children, the importance of working hard and being responsible will build their character. They can also gain an entrepreneurial spirit by working for an allowance instead of just getting it handed to them while doing nothing.
While doing chores, your children will be actively cooperating with you in order to ensure that the house is clean or the meals are prepared et cetera. Many attributes of teamwork such as delegating work, teaching one another, listening to each other and planning together are being demonstrated while participating in household chores.
When doing their chores, children will understand and empathize with their parents on how much effort they are putting in to run the household. As such, they would respect the household, their belongings and their parents more as they realize that the house does not run itself. The children will also be more aware of their actions and will go out of their way to prevent causing messes as they do not spend more time cleaning up messes when they could be putting their time to better use.
List of Chores and their suitable ages
2-3 Years Old
Pick up non-hazardous clutter such as errant newspapers, books, clothing, books and stationary. Essentially any small objects that are not sharp or heavy.
Assist in wiping up messes that do not involve glass. For example, food or liquid messes.
Tidy and make their own beds after sleeping.
Clean small areas with rags or disposable socks.
4-5 Years Old
For the combined age group of 2-5 years old, motivating your children to do household chores can be as simple as designing a sticker chart
Interactions with dust. Using a feather duster or any other equipment to displace dust. Deter your preschooler from attempting this if he/she has asthma or allergies to dust.
Clearing and setting the table. Laying out forks, spoons and blunt knives and other utensils across the dining table.
Helping to carry and store small quantities of groceries
6-8 Years Old
At this stage in their lives, children will be actively looking for their parents’ approval in their actions. Praising and the occasional reward can heavily motivate a child’s desire to tackle household chores.
Taking care of laundry. This includes collecting dirty laundry, depositing them in the washing machine, drying, folding and then storing clean laundry in their wardrobes
Assist family in sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the floor. This should be done under supervision for fear of child tripping on slippery surfaces.
9-12 Years Old
Learn to cook. Parents could start introducing their children to the kitchen through practical lessons. Adult supervision is a must to prevent children from accidentally cutting or burning themselves as well as damage control when they do get injured.
Learn to operate household equipment such as the washing machine, dryer, dishwasher et cetera.
Mop/ sweep and clean rooms by themselves.
13-18 Years Old
Do note at this stage, teenagers will not be as willing to help as they were when they were inquisitive children. Rewarding your teen with an allowance could serve as incentive for him to do household chores. It will also simulate the teenagers’ adult life when he/she has to work in order to earn money. Providing them with an allowance also teaches them to manage their finances, which is an essential aspect of their lives in the future.
Be able to do any of the abovementioned tasks without adult supervision
For tasks such as laundry or cleaning the floor, teenagers should be able to handle the entirety of the household on their own. This helps to relieve their parents of the burden so that they could have time to rest after a hectic day at work. Naturally, the teenagers should not have to shoulder this responsibility all the time, but merely on occasion.
Chores that prepare teenagers for the future should be prioritized. This includes cooking more elaborate meals for the family, grocery shopping with their own planning, and fixing equipment such as lightbulbs and technical errors in electronic equipment such as computers.
Children enjoy the physical sensation of paint dragging across the canvas or squishing clay with their fingers. Are these activities valuable, even if they do not turn into a polished ‘finished’ product? Parents and teachers might find only a ‘finished’ product the proof of ‘successful’ learning. Considering a young child from a developmental perspective, might we expect too much ‘product’ too soon and simultaneously expect too little ‘process’ at all ages? Exactly how does a caring parent or teacher foster creativity and experimentation within a child?