It is okay for parents to teach children starting from three years old to do simple chores appropriate for their age. Giving chores to children has been a family tradition in almost all families for so many years.
You may question yourself sometimes why do you have to give your child some chores when they are still very young. But you will rationalize in your mind the outcome with giving chores and that is to teach children to learn and embrace the value of hard work, responsibility, patience, and determination as they do their tasks and that they would imbibe as they grow up into teens and adults the learning from this experience.
As parents, our primary objective in having our children do some chores is to impart with them important life skills. Besides kids doing chores take pride in having contributed to the family through the simple tasks assigned to them. They feel some sense of being needed and appreciated especially when they accomplished things right and parents would praise them.
That’s when they start to recognize their value as a person as young as they are.
Important tips in giving your kids chores
For younger kids and even to a 6-year old, writing down the steps of a certain chore on an index card as well as the deadline of each specific task can help the child accomplish the task on time. But first, there are some relevant things that parents should observe when assigning chores to their kids.
- You shouldn’t be presumed that your child will understand how to accomplish a particular chore without you as parents or elders showing them how to do it. Give the steps in simple language and with clarity taking into consideration your child’s absorptive capacity being very young.
- Don’t rush. Take the time to communicate with your child, explaining what you expect him to do to get the task done.
- Practice patience and tolerance. These are virtues that only a few have. Of course, they are not perfect, who are? Not the adult either. There are mistakes in learning and delays. Yes, that is true. Be patient and tolerant as they will learn and get things done in due time with your guidance.
- Compensate your kids. Remember compensating is not just in the form of monetary. But it is praising your child generously. Praise your child even if the task wasn’t done on time or it was not the way you expected to turn out. Despite that, tell your child that he/she is doing the best to motivate him/her to do more tasks and strive for the best always. Because giving them praise will make them try to do their task properly.
Chores befitting your child’s age
It is important that as parents you do not force your children to do chores. They should do it because they understand that they are learning vital life skills to prepare them to be responsible in life as they journey towards teenage life and adulthood.
Here are the appropriate chores chart for 6 years old and even 7 years old.
- Wiping off tables. 6 years old would be able to decently wipe off the table with leftovers without spilling all the crumbs on the floor. You would want to assign them in wiping clean the table at least every other meal.
- Dusting off the dirt. Your 6-year old child will be able to do dusting off dirt from tables, small sofa and other flat furniture at home. Do not assign him in cabinets, shelves full of figurines or fragile decor arts.
Read also: “kids and safety the sooner the better”
- Washing and drying dishes. A child aged 6 should be able to carefully wash at least a few dishes and dry them with a clean cloth or stack them on dish drainer. Demonstrate to your child how to wash the dishes and dry. They might think this chore fun.
- Cleaning their room. Your 6-year old child will be happy to get involved in cleaning his room. This is basically putting his things in order, dusting, sweeping, mopping and may involve vacuuming if necessary.
- Getting the family mail. You can ask your child to do this particular task of getting mails being stack in the mailbox at your door or gate for some other. This is an easy job that your 6-year old child can readily do and accomplish.
- Folding laundry and storing their clothes. Some children begin folding washcloths, rags, underwear, and socks as early as 5. So by this time, a child of 6 will be already good at folding his shirts, pants, socks, and handkerchiefs.
- Assisting mom in feeding the younger sibling. Children as young as 6 years old would be able to feed their younger siblings some baby biscuits or baby cereals or whatever baby food stored for babies in the home. Being involved in raising their siblings will certainly make them proud and happy to bits.
- Pulling weeds in the yard. Children will surely jump of excitement to do this chore. So ask your children to help you weed out some wild grasses that are not needed. You can assign them a small part for them to be able to manage the chore.
- Sweeping/Picking some wastes in the yard. This particular task involves a variety of wastes such as litters particularly sticks, fallen tree branches/leaves, grass clipping, food plastics, destroyed/unused toys, unattended bottles, candy wrappers, among others.
- Getting the trash. A 6-year old child will be able to provide help in ensuring house trash is stored at appropriate waste bins for the garbage men to collect on scheduled time.
There is no wrong in giving your children as young as 6 years old some chores they can learn from. There goes a saying that “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks,” meaning it is very difficult to teach someone old new skills or change their behavior as they are already used to it.
That is why it is very important to teach young kids some life skills such as those chores to prepare them in their journey to adulthood and the future and beyond that.
When they are equipped with these life skills, there is no need for a chore chart anymore as they will embody the learnings and the values they acquired from those experiences to their teen and all the way to adulthood.