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Sweeping Chores Under the Rug?

Between lock downs, remote learning, working from home, and no escaping from this tempestuous winter, we’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time in our homes. With all this extra time in our living spaces, household chores can’t be swept under the rug for too long. So if we haven’t already, it’s long time we get our kids involved in housework and making it a part of daily routines.

There are many benefits to kids who do chores. It’s important for kids to feel like they are contributing to the household, for us to teach them life-skills, and let’s face it, we can all use the help! Studies have shown that giving children chores at young ages helps to teach responsibility, self-reliance, confidence, and it sets the stage for adult successes such as completing an education, starting a career path, and maintaining healthy relationships.

When choosing chores for your kids, be sure to set them up for success and include plenty of rewards. Keep in mind their age, ability, and maturity. In our home, the boys are expected to make their own beds, help set the table, and clear their own dishes daily. Our youngest is on laundry duty (sorting, stuffing laundry machine, transferring wet clothes into the dryer) and our oldest helps with meal prep, garbage collecting, and getting breakfast ready for himself and his brother. On cleaning days, we work together and everyone gets a job they can handle. Completed work earns the boys extra screen time – their latest and most effective currency!

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some age-appropriate chore suggestions from various online sources. Give them a try and you might be surprised!
Ages 2-3

  • Putting books/toys away
  • Putting laundry in hamper
  • Moving clothes from washer to dryer
  • Wiping low cabinets
  • Filling up pet food bowls

Ages 4 to 5

  • Making their bed
  • Sorting socks
  • Helping to set/clear the table for meals
  • Getting dressed
  • Helping to rake leaves or shovel snow
  • Dusting with a rag

Ages 6 to 8

  • Helping with meal prep
  • Loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • Folding and putting away their laundry
  • Collecting garbage and recycling
  • Vacuuming
  • Making snacks/breakfast

Ages 9+

  • Washing dishes
  • Using the washer and dryer
  • Taking trash and recycling out to the bin/curb
  • Watching over siblings with parents at home
  • Sweeping, mopping, dusting
  • Cleaning up after pets
  • Vacuuming and washing the car

Frank Emanuele is a proud father of two boys, a special education teacher, and a director of Dad Club London.


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