Knowing when to start introducing chores for kids can be tricky. Every child is different, and so is every parent. Here are a few tips to help make the transition easier!
Introducing chores for kids
Getting your kids to do their chores might seem like an exercise in frustration. Either they don’t do them right, or they’re fighting you every step of the way until you’re so angry you give up and do it yourself.
We’ve all been there. Instead of pulling your hair out, here are some tried and true tips to make it easier to get your young ones involved with household chores, without resorting to bribery all of the time.
Stick to Age-Appropriate Chores
How old were you when you learned how to fold clothes, wash dishes or do other household chores?
We want our kids to be the best and brightest, but it’s easy to expect too much from them. One of the easiest ways to get your children involved is to stick to age-appropriate chores.
Now, you can find lists of what professionals consider age-appropriate all over the internet, but these should be regarded as loose guidelines.
The exact chores that are appropriate for your child at any age will be dependent on their skill level and maturity. Each child matures differently.
Just because your oldest was ready to fold clothes at 7 doesn’t mean your middle child will.
Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork
While you might be able to trust your older children to get their chores done with minimal supervision, you can’t tell a toddler to sweep the floor and expect them to do it — or do it correctly.
Work with them instead.
Sure, it means that you’re doing more chores, but by working together as a team, you can ensure that your little ones are learning the correct way to complete the task and that the job is getting done.
Even your youngest children, once they start to show interest, can get involved with family chores.
Keep a child-sized broom and other cleaning implements handy, so if they want to get in on the fun, you can hand them a tool that is just their size and show them how it’s done.
Dyson even makes a fully functional kid-sized vacuum cleaner so they can help with vacuuming days.
Note from Victoria: We actually bought one of the working Dyson vacuums for my nephew for Christmas, and then one for my son’s birthday in March. They are awesome! Only $25 bucks and they actually suck up dirt. Winning!
Crank Up the Tunes
Nothing makes chore days go by faster than an upbeat soundtrack. Crank up the stereo, ask Alexa to play your favorite tunes or pull up Spotify on your phone and set it to shuffle.
Just get that music playing!
If you have older kids, set one of them up as a DJ — a rotating position so that no one feels left out or isn’t involved in chore days.
Not only will this turn your drab and boring chore days into dance parties, but science has also proven that it can help you clean faster.
Keeping the high-tempo music flowing can cut your cleaning time in half. The exact reasons for this are unknown, but it’s theorized that fast tempo music makes you move quickly, so you get a job done in less time.
Plus, music causes the brain to release dopamine, which means you feel better about getting your chores done when it’s time to hang up the broom.
The Benefits of Chores for Kids
Including your children in household chores from a young age doesn’t just help you get the job done faster — it’s beneficial for your little ones.
A 75-year long study program out of Harvard found that individuals who do chores as children fare better later in life.
Teaching your kids to dust, sweep and do laundry will set them up to become happier and healthier adults in the long run.
The biggest thing you can do to get your children involved is to keep chores from feeling like a punishment. Chores should be a fun family activity that makes your kids feel like they’re part of a team.
Make it enjoyable, either by turning it into a competition or playing music, and make sure that you’re involved.
Chores shouldn’t be something that your children dread. It should be a way to spend time with mom and dad, while they’re learning skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
PIN THIS FOR LATER
About the Author:
Emily is a sustainability writer interested in helping others live a greener lifestyle and reduce their waste. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.