Clean up, clean up; everybody do your share!
Young children can do a lot more than we generally think they can. We’re here to help you understand the capacity that your child has to help around the house.
This can be a great opportunity to teach them that chores can be fun and don’t have to feel like a punishment. Remember, they are children, though, and they probably won’t do all of these chores perfectly or how you would do it.
Be patient with them as they learn chores, encourage them, and learn their capabilities and limits for their age.
Two and Three-Year-Olds
This is the age where kiddos love to help mommy and daddy accomplish tasks. Take advantage of that! Most two and three-year-olds are going to be limited to two types of chores. The first is anything that involves relocating to a specific area, such as the following:
- Put away toys
- Feed pets
- Clothes in hamper
- Loading washer and dryer (***while supervised***)
The second thing that they will be able to do, but maybe not as well, is anything that requires wiping, such as:
- Wiping clean the dining room table
- Wiping down baseboards or floors with socks on hands
Keep in mind that with these tasks, there may be spilling of dog food or dropping off clothes when transferring them. Also, not every spot may be perfectly cleaned.
Four and Five-Year-Olds
These kiddos still love helping their parents and elders accomplish tasks. Their hand-eye coordination has improved, and so has their understanding. Instead of needing task-by-task instructions, they can take instructions with a couple of steps involved. At this age, they are highly motivated by rewards, so stickers or whatever treats they love can be great ways to show them how hard work pays off.
Some of the things that most children this age are capable of are as follows:
- Clearing and setting table
- Making a bed without supervision
- Separating white and colored clothes before washing
- Putting away silverware
- Pull weeds
- Water plants
The list can go on from here, and it is really up to your discretion as to what your child can handle. They may even be behind or ahead in what they can do according to these lists, but that’s not a bad thing. Every child is different, and these lists are just an average according to typical development in children.
Six to Eight-Year-Olds
This age group has started to become more independent. You may find that your child gives some pushback against chores, but you can still encourage them and stand firm in giving them responsibilities. The way in which you present expected chores may be a little different. Work with their sense of independence by giving them a list or chore agenda that they can be responsible for by themselves.
Chores to consider are:
- Vacuuming and mopping
- Carrying in groceries
- Taking out the trash
- Fold and put away laundry
- Empty and load dishwasher
- Daily feed and water pet
At this age, children are able to handle a little bit more physical responsibilities, and as they build physically and independently, you can give them chores that cater to that and need less supervision.
Nine to Twelve-Year-Olds
Set schedules and expectations are typically welcomed at this age by children. They will likely be very upset if you throw unexpected work at them; therefore, schedules and checkoff lists do well for this age too.
Having rewards and consequences works well for this age, and working less like a co-worker and more as a supervisor will help them feel independent yet navigate with parameters and take responsibility for their actions as they answer to someone else.
- Wash family car
- Preparing simple meals
- Babysitting younger siblings while parents are home
- Operate washer and dryer
- Operate dishwasher
- Vacuuming and mopping
These are the pre-teen years and the middle school years. Keep in mind that your child is going through a lot of hormonal changes right now and emotionally may not respond how you would like. Listen to them, encourage them, and be patient with them during this time.
A teenager is virtually able to do any household chores or yard work. This is the age of preparing them and ensuring that they can make it on their own in college or out in the world on their own.
At this age, if the cleaning has not already been ingrained into their regular daily practices, they may put up a little bit of a fight. However, you can help them change their mindset from a dreaded unenjoyable task to an exercise and practice of gratitude. Your attitude and body language when you do cleaning and chores will be a leading example to your teens.
Greenlife Professional Cleaning
If cleaning and household chores have become a stressor to you and the family and something that turns into a punishment rather than a discipline, it may be time to look into hiring a professional cleaning company. There are many other reasons to consider hiring professional cleaners, and we here at Greenlife Professional Cleaning are willing to help you and your family out.
We are located in western Carolina in Asheville, NC. If you or someone you know would like assistance in helping you keep your house tidy as you wrestle with your busy schedule, reach out to us by calling 828-424-7384 or visit our website to learn more or request a free estimate.