Family life is so very hectic, there is a never-ending cycle of washing, dishes, ironing, cleaning and cooking to do.
Often as parents, we tend to do all of these chores or a large majority of it, because sometimes it seems easier and faster than having to try to explain what you want your family to do and then teaching them how to do it and then having to remind them to do it repeatedly. However, if we can just take a little time initially to set a few individual chores per family member, you will be amazed at the difference it makes to the family and to you! If you take a little time to plan what seems age appropriate and reasonable and then make the time to teach each child what is expected of them and how to achieve this, it will become entrenched in their regular responsibilities and you will be surprised at how much a little effort being exerted by all, means more quality family time together or more “you” time, plus more “being” and less “doing” in life as a parent.
It is important to remember that every child matures at a different pace and it is important to not to use this list as a definitive list for your children, these are merely suggestions and you will need to decide what is appropriate for you and your own family and what you are happy for them to do and what they are capable of doing. Adjust this chart to what you know about your children’s skills and talents, and be conscious that no child should do all of the chores listed below every day (I do not support child labour, but I do support everyone contributing to the family!), this is a list for you to choose from to allocate to your family members in a reasonable and fair manner.
It is important to remember that you are also in turn empowering them with feeling as though they are contributing to the family and helping them to feel valued, and also helping them gain some independence skills that are important to know for the future. There are differences between chores and life skills, chores are ongoing tasks that benefit the household such as making beds, cleaning floors, setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, doing the washing, etc. Life skills are activities that your children should know how to do before living on their own, such as managing finances, saving and budgeting, cooking and nutrition, studying, earning money, cleaning regularly, time management, self-care such as eating well, exercise, health and hygiene, healthy sleep patterns, keeping in touch with people who you are close to, etc.
Today we are focusing mostly on chores but I am also including some life skills which will be beneficial not only to take the pressure off you needing to remind your children and do things for your children all of the time, but also to help them prepare for life after living at home, (sniff sniff – it is hard to think about I know, but it is our role to do our best to ensure they are well-rounded capable individuals), so I am including a list of age appropriate chores that you can use as suggestions with a few life skills thrown in, it is only meant as a guide and merely reflects the types of chores and life skills that many children in these age ranges are capable of completing, add any more you think should be included and let me know if you think of any others!! So let’s look at what chores are important for your children to learn, and what they are capable of doing.
Click on the links below to get a free printable version of my “Age-Appropriate Chores for Children” suggestion list.
I would love for you to set this as a task for yourself to help you get some more time back for you and more time to enjoy your family more, is to take the time to write down a weekly routine of which family member is expected to do what chores on which days, a little time now initially will save you so much time in the long run and teach your children the importance of contributing to the family. Please make time to do this week and come back and let me know how you went with this task and if it is working for you!
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