Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Age appropriate chores for kids are pretty simple. You know what you children are capable of. If you don’t, experiment. Give your daughter the job of cleaning the bathroom, if she has never done it before do it with her and show her what you expect. Then next time see how she does it you think she really tried her best and it doesn’t cut it, work with her some more. Maybe that would be a job to do together for a while.

Some people say, and I have said it too, “but it’s so much faster if I just do it.” That is true at first when your children are young or just learning how to do a task. There is always a training period, even with age appropriate chores.

Just like when you get a job in the real world your boss would not expect you to know how to do everything correctly from day one. But your boss understands that by teaching you a set of skills now it will free him up to do other tasks, soon.

age appropriate choes
It all depends on how you look at it. Do you look at cleaning your house as a job to get done quickly and just get it over with? Or could you look at it as an ongoing process to teach your children to be happy while they work (which they learn pretty much by example only)?

We also have a “return and report” policy at our house. So when age appropriate chores have been assigned the child has to come and tell me it is done. Otherwise I tell them to do a job, they kinda do it and then start doing something else. Pretty soon they ask to go play. Now if I am distracted I may just say ok. But when I am on top of it I assign a task and say “return and report” which means as soon as it’s completed, before you do anything else, come and tell me. Then I go and make sure it got done correctly and have them finish any part that is not completed.

I have heard “but my kids are too busy with sports, homework, music lessons, there is just no time for them to do chores.” I have 2 problems with this.

1. I bet your child is really not that structured. Does he have time to watch television or play video games? Then he probably has some time to do something constructive, like age apprpriate chores, instead.

2. If your child really is that busy take him out of some thing. Not only are those “things” costing you more money that could be put toward getting you out of debt. But it is teaching your child that he does not need to contribute to the household maintenance. He is “entitled” to receive all the things he gets without work. That will leave him in a sorry financial state indeed as an adult. Full of debt because he is entitled to things without working for them

family chores
Finally, you do not always need to divide chores. You can make cleaning the house a family experience where you all clean the same room together. It will create bonding and build teamwork.

Let me just say I do not live in LALA land. I am aware that having age appropriate chores for kids is not always easy or fun. They often complain at first and sometimes their whole time at home. But the best lessons in life are not necessarily fun or easy. I assign chores to my kids because it will teach them life lessons not because I want to be popular.

One of my age appropriate chores growing up was mowing the lawn every week. And every week I would complain about it. We had a ¾ acre yard, that was not flat, and I did not use a riding or self propelled mower. It was hard and it took a lot of time. But every week when the job was done I would run in and have my parents come and look at what a great job I did. But did I remember that feeling of accomplishment the next Saturday? Nope.

It took years for me to realize that I would enjoy the fruits of my labor, and hard work is worth it. I think I am still learning that lesson today, but now, I am grateful for the start my parents gave me, even if I wasn’t grateful, “then.”

At the end of the day your children need to learn hard work and family work. These are important values that too many have strayed from in today's society. These small but vital age appropriate chores will teach your children the SKILLS to manage their money and life as they grow.

"A man in debt is so far a slave,"
Ralph Waldo Emerson.


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