In order to raise helpful and hard-working adults, they need to do chores! According to a Harvard study, when children do chores they grow up to be successful adults because they were instilled with a strong work ethic. This post will list my top tips for assigning kids chores, as well as the many benefits.
It is important to note, that even though the thought of having someone else clean the kitchen floors sounds amazing, having your kids pitch in likely won’t mean less work for you, at least not at first. However, the payoff is tremendous if you follow through, especially if you start them young.
TIPS FOR ASSIGNING KIDS CHORES
Starting them young with chores and offering a reward, whether it is a penny, sticker, or a fun-sized candy bar, helps them build and understand the relationship between work and money/reward. Getting kids in the habit of completing chores also shows them they have to be a contributing member of the family, and on a larger scale, society. They begin to realize that work is a part of life.
These are critical life lessons that many children grow up not fully learning. As successful entrepreneurs, we know the value in hard work; and the payoff. To instill that same value of hard work and assist in raising motivated, driven and successful kids, assign kids age-appropriate tasks to complete. Below are a few ideas for age-appropriate chores you could assign!
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3-5 years: Pick up toys, put dirty clothes in the basket, make their bed, match socks from clean laundry, pick up their mess/toys, help put away groceries.
6-8 years: make their bed, fold and put away their laundry, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, bring in the mail, feed pets, vacuum or sweep the floor, water plants, sort recycling, and help meal plan or cook,
9-12 years: clean windows, wash cars, clean bathrooms, rake leaves, wash clothes, put all laundry away, take out the trash to the curb, and help cook meals.
13-18 years: Clean out the car, keep their room clean, mop floors, clean out garage/basement, mow the grass, cook dinner, take the trash out, do their own laundry and put it away, and clear the table after dinner.
These are just a few suggestions to give you ideas. Add or modify them to fit your family.
Tips Before Assigning kids chores:
01. Figure out a system that works for the family
Depending on the age of your kids, will the tasks be assigned daily or weekly? Are chores completed on the honor system, or do you need to check them as they are completed? If your kids are younger this may be harder. You will have to remind and instruct them as they work and complete tasks.
Chore tracking can be fun for kids to build up confidence and motivation. You could use any method that works for you and your family! You could create their own chore board on ClickUp or Trello, use a dry erase board like this one or magnetic charts for multiple kids like this one found on Amazon, or another tracking/reward system that gives clear direction and is easy for EVERYONE to use.
02. Make expectations clear
We are moms. We all know that our idea of cleanliness isn’t always everyone else's.
So just make sure you are clear on the task itself, but also what is expected as an end result.
With younger kids especially, you want to set them up for success and provide them with clear directions. You may even need to give instructions one step at a time so they don’t get overwhelmed.
Without clear directions and expectations, you may find that pile of clothes you asked your child to put away is stuffed into the same drawer, or thrown at the bottom of a closet. Ask me how I know!
03. Decide the reward, if any, before starting
This is super important! Some chores might not come with payout, and that’s okay! Some chores need to be done as a contributing member of the family. However, make it known that that particular chore is not paid.
For those chores you do plan to pay/reward your kids for completing, decide on the amount or type of reward beforehand, as well as when they will receive it.
For older kids, you might give them their earnings at the end of the week, or the end of the day. With younger kids, I highly suggest you pay/reward them directly after the completed chore, or at least that day. Younger kids thrive off of encouragement and instant gratification. This also helps build that work-money connection.
For older kids, you could provide a benefit instead of a payout after completing a task. For instance, giving laundry duty to a teenager could equate to new clothes for a job well done. Or maybe cleaning and washing the car means they get to borrow it over the weekend. Be creative!
04. Assign Family Chores
It’s also important to get your kids working together! I encourage instilling a mindset of teamwork when it comes to household chores. Tackling chores together builds up sibling and familial relationships. Kids will learn to work together and conquer hard things that require them to rely on each other. In doing so, they will also learn efficiency, as they delegate tasks amongst them.
Instilling a strong work ethic
As entrepreneurs and Homeschool CEOs, chores could also include tasks related to your business. Your kids could file paperwork, clean out your email inbox, write a blog post draft, package products for shipping, or whatever else you might need that's age-appropriate. Letting kids in on your business is a wonderful way to instill the value of hard work, and also provide them first-hand experience into entrepreneurship!
When assigning kids chores, it isn't about doing a job and moving on. By doing chores, we want our kids to understand that they have to do work as a part of life. We also want to build the relationship between work and money.
Whether they get rewarded for a particular job or not, we want them to feel that sense of accomplishment for a job well done! We want our kids to take pride in their work and strive to do their best always!
Hopefully in time, assigning chores will make kids successful, driven adults, while also lightening our load in the process!
If you have a suggestion to add to this list, I’d love to hear from you! Comment on the blog or reach out in our Free Facebook group: Homeschool CEO Community for entrepreneurs & business owners who homeschool. We are here to support and encourage you while you run your business and educate the next generation of leaders who will change the world.