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Age appropriate chores for your child

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
22 October 2022   |   3:55 am
As a child grows, knowing how to better engage him with household tasks can be a bit of a struggle for parents. This is especially, as they are a part of the home and also contribute to the need to keep the home tidy.

As a child grows, knowing how to better engage him with household tasks can be a bit of a struggle for parents. This is especially, as they are a part of the home and also contribute to the need to keep the home tidy.

Keep in mind when deciding what chores your child should do, that everyone is different and age is not the only factor when determining the right chore. Think about your child’s maturity level, physical ability, and interest to help you select the appropriate chores.

The complexity of chores naturally varies per age. For children ages two and three, they love to help with chores. As toddlers, while their help may not always be as helpful as we would hope, keeping their excitement and the habit of helping alive is worth the extra effort.

Lots of toddlers love to see a visual reminder of their success, so making sticker charts is a great choice. Although chores may only be completed with your help each step of the way, you are creating positive habits for children to find chores and helping others a way of life.

Some of the chores they can do include; helping make the bed, picking up toys and books, putting laundry in the hamper, putting small items in a dishwasher and putting away books.​

Preschoolers between ages four and five are still fairly motivated to help with chores. If you take some time to teach them new chores one on one, they usually love it. Many kids at this age are ready to do chores without constant supervision.

They also love rewards. Try using a daily chore chart with stickers that allows them to build up to bigger rewards. For some preschoolers, tying chores to an allowance is a great choice. This can also foster independence by allowing them to choose a reward.

Among chores they can be involved in are: helping to clear and set the table, dusting, helping out to cook and prepare food, carrying and putting away groceries, sorting, watering plants using a small container, washing small dishes at the sink and helping to clean their own room.

At age six to eight, although the enthusiasm for chores may diminish, they have other redeeming qualities that work well for chores. Most school-aged children have an overwhelming desire to be independent. Parents and caregivers can guide children to become self-sufficient in their chores by using chore charts to keep track of their responsibilities.

These tasks include: taking care of pets, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping, taking out ​the trash, folding and putting away laundry, making their own snacks, breakfast, and bagged lunches, emptying and loading the dishwasher.

Kids at ages nine to 12 will appreciate a set schedule and expectations. Throw a lot of unexpected work at them and watch them get upset. If you can create a schedule or system with a little input from them, you’ll have a smooth transition. It’s best to find a system that works for your family.

They can engage in these chores: helping to wash the car, learning to wash dishes or load an entire dishwasher, helping to prepare simple meals, cleaning smaller areas of the bathroom, raking more leaves, operating the washer and dryer, taking out the garbage and babysitting younger siblings.

While teenagers between ages 13 to 18 are capable of handling nearly any chore in the home as long as they’ve been taught properly. One thing to be sensitive to is the cramped schedule of teenagers. Just as we get overwhelmed when we have too much to do, teenagers can find themselves struggling to maintain an unmanageable workload. Hence, monitor your teen’s schedule and school commitments; adjust activities and chores accordingly.

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