When assigning chores around your home, there are two questions you should consider: 1) what is my child capable of at this age? And 2) what responsibilities do I want to teach them? You should recognize which chores lead into good life habits, such as regularly taking out the trash or picking up their toys (later, it becomes laptops and chargers). Your child should know the difference between a chore and a task that needs to be done less often, such as doing the laundry or helping to wash the car. Here is IKO Community Management’s favorite chart for appropriate chore duty:
Age 2 to 3: At this age, your child is still learning and discovering, so give them basic chores to give them an idea about responsibility.
- Personal: Picking up after themselves, including toys, books and other games.
Age 4 to 5: As your child gets older, they begin to understand that everyone must do their part around your home. They should start to learn what to do for their part, so individualize their chores.
- Personal: Begin making their beds every morning before school and after naps, begin getting ready in the morning without help, including brushing their teeth and hair as well as getting dressed, and making their lunch
- Family: Learn how to help set the table, clear dishes, and carry weekly groceries from the car
Age 6 to 7: Your child is at an age when they are capable of doing more than you think. Now, sometimes, they want to help out. It’s amazing! Give them some more family chores, so they feel that sense of accomplishment.
- Personal: Take their dirty clothes to the laundry room or place them in individual hampers
- Family: Get the family pet food and water, and water plants around the house
Age 8 to 11: In the middle school years, children should become more self-sufficient, and this can factor into almost every aspect of their life. This is the time to learn even more responsibility and time management.
- Personal: Promptly get homework done after school, empty or load the dishwasher, put their personal laundry away, and organize their school supplies and bedroom area
- Family: Collect the trash from around the house and take it to the curb, and place recycling bin out on designated days
Age 12 to 15: As a high school student, your child is becoming more independent, so begin teaching them chores that will transcend into their adult life.
- Personal: Change bedsheets, do bedroom deep-cleaning and begin searching for odd jobs, such as neighborhood yardwork, babysitting, or volunteering
- Family: Clean glass, dust, vacuum, mow the lawn (with supervision), do yardwork, sweep, mop and learn how to use the washing machine and dryer
Age 16 to 18: Your child is now a young adult, so their time management skills, responsibility and work ethic are very stable. Show them life lessons about cars, money and home.
- Personal: Update individual finances and spending money (if applicable)
- Family: Maintain family car, and deep clean household appliances, such as the stove, refrigerator and oven
Disclaimer: Do not stress yourself out if your child is not following our chart. We know every child grows and learns at a different pace, so use these as simple guidelines.
Whether you give your child incentive, which can go a long way (a toy as a toddler or spending time with the family car as a young adult), or you have a family chore chart with everyone’s duties, completing household tasks fulfills a sense of accomplishment and teaches responsibility. From all of us at IKO Community Management, have a good chore day!