Parenting | Tips and Tricks

Five Ways to Introduce Chores to your Child

Is your child ready to start helping you with chores around the house? You can tell if a child is ready by the way they want to help. They will start asking you to help more and they’ll become more interested in what you are spending your time doing.

My kids each have chores that they need to do, to help out. In fact, my twins have been putting away their own laundry since they were 4 years old. At that time, they wanted to help, so I relinquished the control completely over to them.

Five Ways to Introduce Chores to your Child

 

Here are five ways to introduce chores to your child

 
#1. Help a mama out

Your child can be introduced to chores by simply helping you out. This will take a lot longer than you imagined, but it will be well worth it in the end. By helping mama out, your children are learning so much. Have them help you carry a load of laundry from one room to the next. Show them how to put toys away or pick up something off of the floor. Early on you’ll find that your kids mimic your actions, so lead by example. For instance, “I’m done with my cup, so I’m going to clean it up and take it to the dishwasher”

#2. Start very small

Kids get excited about learning new things. Although you wouldn’t mind your child jumping full force into the chore realm, it’s best to start small. Give them small tasks to do and see how they do. Just remember that kids are still kids and starting small helps them maintain their childhood and still learn a little responsibility.

#3. Praise does matter

If your child doesn’t do something right, the worst thing you can do is tell them. Make sure you are praising your child as much as possible when it comes to doing chores. Most kids want to start out with chores on their own, but they often lose their excitement. You can really introduce kids to how exciting chores are by making sure they know how great of a job they’re doing. I had to bite my tongue when my twins first put away their laundry solo, but they did the best they could, and they were praised for that. 

#4. Have them follow directions closely

It’s not often the chore is the actual difficult part, but listening before the chore. Have your child practice listening to what you say before they go off to do the chore. By having them do small chores, one at a time, you are also teaching them about the value of listening to directions and comprehending.

#5. Being choosy is okay

One of the best ways you can introduce chores to a child is to give them a choice. Asking them something like “would you rather vacuum or pick up toys.” After they have picked their choice, they can go ahead and finish it. Sometimes chore charts work for kids and other times they don’t. Just remember at how moody adults can be when it comes to completing chores. Having a choice really does make it a lot more fun.

 

As the mom or dad, you know what your child is capable of doing for chores. Here are some ideas to help you move along in the chore department:

Ages 1-2 – Your child can follow you around helping with chores, maybe picking up a toy here and there. This should be self lead though and not enforced. Again, you know your child best and what they’re capable of.

Ages 3-4 – This age gets a little more responsible and specific in what they can do. Picking up toys, making a bed, helping to carry in the mail, and even picking up dirty clothes are all great chores.

Ages 5-6 – At this age, kids are starting school and getting a little busier with their lives. Encourage them to help with chores around the house by giving rewards and praise (maybe even an allowance). This age is a little more flexible in what they can do from vacuuming to folding clothes and wiping the table after dinner. You can help determine specific chores based on your child’s capabilities.

 
Does your child do chores?

 

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33 Comments

  1. We started small here with our kids and it worked really well for us. These are great tips!

  2. This is great! My kids are starting to do chores as well. I’ve always made them clean up their toys but now we have started on making beds and dusting and some garden work. Thanks for sharing. Its always so good to get someone else’s opinion!

  3. Diving up chores and starting them young with simple tasks is a great way to introduce everyone to new chores! I think the first one many parents do is to have children help clean up their own toys. I think I’d stick with that theme and focus their first chores on cleaning the playroom – pick up toys, help vacuum, help dust, etc.

  4. My sister started her kids doing chores when they were very young. It’s a good way to get them used to the idea of helping out around the house.

  5. We started having the kids do chores when they were very little. At first it was just handing us things, and then we gradually eased them in to actual chore duty as they got older.

  6. Our kids do chores around our house. WE have them start very young by beginning to pick up toys, put their clothes into the laundry hamper and just help mommy with small odds and ends. And as they grew older, their responsibilities grow as well. I think it is very important that kids know how to work and help in the home.

  7. I have one child that loves to help and will do almost any chore you give her. The others are not as willing!

  8. My kids do some chores, but they are not scheduled. They just do things as I ask them.

  9. We started our kids out early with chores. It’s important that the kids know that they’re part of the family unit, and the should want to help.

  10. My kids have always had chores to do. We started out very small and always made sure the chore was age appropriate.

  11. I love it when my kids offer to help because they want to make it easier on me. It makes me hopeful that someday they’ll take initiative when it really counts!

  12. My kids are teens and I have to fight with them to do their chores. They seem to conveniently forget and go out before they are done,

  13. The first chore we introduced our son to was clearing his spot at the table when he was three. Now at 8 him and his 5 year old sister will clear the entire table and load the dishwasher. Proof that starting small and being consistent with the chores are very much worth the time and effort.

  14. Great ideas. My oldest loves to help me out so much that I often have to tell her to let me do what I need to get done, and she can help me later. I do let her do her chores but I also have to remind her to be a kid and just go play.

  15. Thanks for the tips. My son is 2 now and he likes to copy me — it’s very cute!

  16. Thank you for these tips! I am at this stage right now and have difficulty approaching the subject with our kids.

  17. WE just made chore lists the other night, my kids want shopkins and I told them they need to earn the money for them because they are expensive 😉

  18. My kids don’t have specific “chores” persay, but they have to help with everything. Like cleaning off the table, and picking up the toys. I’ve found it helpful as they complain that someone else spilled all the toys to not make a big deal of it, just remind them that we selflessly serve everyone. I’ll let you know when we get to that not-complaining stage in about 56347856 years. :p

  19. I have our 6 yr old put dishes away after meals including mine and his brothers. He picks up after his not even 2 yr old brother a lot too. Need to get more routine chores on him though.

  20. I found out with my six year old that he actually likes to help me out with laundry. I never thought that I would see the day that he would be helping me out.

  21. i find giving them a choice works. they usually battle to get the less icky of the chores done!

  22. These tips are great! My son is almost five. He makes his bed and cleans his room. 🙂

  23. I was fortunate and did not have a problem with this when raising our daughter. Allowances were based on extra chores, and of course some were just part of the daily routine.

  24. in my house the kids started doing chores when they were 3/4 by picking their toys up now they are up to dusting and feeding the cats and they are now 6/7 it doesn’t hurt for them to start you mine always want to help around the house we don’t give them money we pay them with points and that goes towards outings such as movies, or buying a treat, or something they earned .

  25. My daughter is a great organizer, so I task her to do things which give her a sense of completion. she likes to make all of our beds, lining every thing up perfectly and straightening out my sock drawer. it is great, because actually it is a real help and we both feel good,

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