Our kids are expected to do chores, from unloading the dishwasher to feeding the dog. We had not yet started Tylan, age 3 and Avery, age 1 1/2, on chores when I got put on bed rest while pregnant with Paxton last year, but that changed things in a hurry! Everyone had to carry some extra weight with Momma down for over 6 months!
Destiny and Ty do the “regular” dishes, bowls and plates. I do knives and the “extras”. Ty’s favorite is when he gets to stand on the counter to put away the dishes. Destiny was at school the day I took these, but every other time, one stacks clean dishes on the counter, and the other puts them away.
The children are also expected to make their own beds every morning, get dressed and brush teeth. On laundry day, they are required to put away their clothes too. (the little ones still need my assistance) We reward their good obedience and a job well done with stickers for their sticker chart.
On cleaning day, Dale and I have recently started dividing the kids up between us, and helping them with dusting and vacuuming different parts of the house. Destiny is also responsible for keeping the kid’s bathroom tidy during the week. This means toothpaste free sink, polished counter top and fingerprint free mirrors.
A new chore we’ve added since our chickens joined the family, is gathering eggs and feeding and giving water to the baby chickies. Ty and Destiny do this chore together after school :
We’ve only had one egg mishap for each kid. Destiny dropped one in the garage during her transfer to the fridge, and the other day Tylan, tripped out in the chicken coop. Bye-bye 7 eggs! That’s ok Ty, accidents happen!
Below is a list of age appropriate chores for your kiddos that I got from Dr. Dobson’s website a few years ago. Yes, it takes longer to unload the dishwasher then when I do it myself, and things aren’t always done as tidy as this momma wants them, but I know this is teaching them a valuable lesson in responsibility.
Here are some age appropriate tasks:
Ages 3 to 5
Work alongside your children to help them perform simple chores like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, sorting laundry into color-coded piles, making their beds and feeding pets.
Ages 6 to 8
Children can dust and vacuum, put away their clothes, empty wastebaskets, set and clear the table, care for pets and help with some yard work.
Ages 9 to 12
Kids can unpack groceries, load and unload the dishwasher, mop the floor, fold laundry, wash the car, and help prepare simple meals.
Most child-development experts agree that children shouldn’t be paid for household chores, which are part of contributing to family life.
Here are some tips for positive chores experience at your house:
Give kids ownership: Have a family meeting and enlist the help of your children in selecting the chores they want to do. Also have them participate in selecting the consequences for chores not performed in a timely manner. Let kids know expectations ahead of time.
Use “shaping” to teach tasks: First, let children watch you perform a chore as you talk through it step by step. The next time, let children perform one part of the chore. Each time, give kids a little more responsibility until they’re ready to tackle the chores alone.
Use language cues to spur self-reflection and responsible behavior. Say “I see books on the floor” rather than giving a direct command. That helps kids make decisions and reduces any defiance.
Offers encouragement. Always thank children for their contributions and offer genuine praise for their efforts. Instead of saying, “Your room looks good,” say, “Thank you for working so hard to put your clothes and toys in their proper place.”
The key here is not to expect perfection! I had to learn that I was crushing Destiny’s spirit when I’d go tidy her bed after she made it. Wrinkled or not, she had done her best and worked SO hard on it! By fixing it in front of her, I was showing her that her best wasn’t good enough.
I thank God that He allowed me to see her crest-fallen face and slumped shoulders once, early on, so He could open my eyes to what this was saying to her.
Have a great one! ~T
PS Stay tuned, I am getting ready to post again, this time a FOOD post! I was excited enough to share it with you, that it deemed a double post day. Yup, deeelicious……