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Teaching Kids to Do Chores

Teaching Kids to Do Chores – Tips – Teaching kids to do chores is an important phase in their life. Age-appropriate chores for children include realizing it will be helpful for you to have an extra helping hand or two around the house, but it’s a great lesson for kids… here’s why…

I attended a free Great Start Parenting Conference recently and Ayana Knox-Potts, mother of six and editor of, did a presentation on teaching kids to do chores. Here’s a bit from her presentation…


Kids doing chores is important because it teaches them responsibility and builds self-esteem. From my own perspective, I felt it was important to involve my children with chores because it also teaches teamwork. As my kids get older, they are more involved in outside activities which are very time-consuming. I work a lot of hours, and combining my busy work schedule with the kids schedules has me spinning. My kids needed to understand that in order for them to have their activities, we need to work as a team and take care of the house together to get things done.

There are certain phases and chores for specific ages. Here are some examples to give you an idea of what each child is ready for…

Teaching Kids to Do Chores – Age Appropriate Chores

  • Ages 2-3 – sweeping, feeding pets, picking up toys, laundry (taking clothes to hamper), dressing themselves
  • Ages 4-6 – clearing the table, making the bed, dusting
  • Ages 7-9 – folding laundry, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, wash dishes, clean mirrors and windows

If you’re a picky house cleaner like me, you’re most likely thinking to yourself…”The kids can never do as good of a job as I can.” Sure, this is how it begins, but with a lot of practice, you’ll be happy to have the help. So, don’t expect things to be perfect.

Teaching Kids to Do Chores – Tips

  • Chores must be done with adult supervision
  • Tools must be size appropriate
  • Timing is everything – never have kids do chores when they are hungry or tired

To help the kids learn the chores and do them responsibly, parents need to keep it visible, routine and consistent. Schedules out in the open work great. Kids will see what needs to be done. You can use pictures to show what they are doing that day. And, routines can be established… e.g. laundry on Saturdays, garbage on Tuesdays, etc.

Teaching Kids to Do Chores – Chores Guidelines

  • You must provide what you promise
  • The reward does not have to be monetary or cost anything
  • Examples – 15 minutes later to bed, one-on-one basketball, extended story time, sock wars, etc

Teaching Kids to Do Chores – Allowance Tips

  • Make sure they are doing something that they have been trained to do and they are doing it consistently before offering payment
  • Know your child’s maturity level for allowance, do not offer if they are not interested in money yet
  • Set goals for the allowance to earn something
  • Suggested amounts to pay- SHOULD BE A DOLLAR PER YEAR. For example, if they are ten years old – $10 a week or biweekly
  • Make sure whatever amount you offer it can be a consistent amount. If $1 a year is too much cut it in half, if you believe that they deserve more add a few dollars but do not over pay. This will give a false sense of reality.

References – All information found on internet/the library/or life lessons.

Ayana Knox-Potts is a Parent Representative for Great Start Collaborative Oakland County, member of several committees including the Rochester Special Education Parent Advisory Committee and Parent Leader in her community. She has experience training at-risk youth, was a Youth Ambassador for Prevention Against Drugs, previous CareHouse volunteer, previous foster parent and currently on several boards advocating for all children.

See related posts below for more on Great Start Collaborative-Oakland and for more parenting tips.

Original post date 4/2014

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