KIDS CAN DO CHORES

By: Randi Goodman

Household tasks have multiplied since the kids have been home all day, every day courtesy of COVID 19.  Somehow, there are more dishes, more laundry, more of everything! Coincidentally, there are also more complaints about boredom.  The solution is simple. 

Little kids can do chores.  Big kids can do chores.  Kids with special needs can do chores.  Your kids can even work together to do chores! Everyone in the household is responsible for keeping the house clean and functional. The kids will whine, nag, and complain, but if they stick to it, they will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. 

I remember the long list of chores I hated to do as a kid.  I harbored a strong resentment for doing the dishes, for example. Now, however, I can appreciate that I know how to get stubborn bits of food off my cookware. What your kids may consider torture, is actually teaching them essential life skills.

My kids have plenty of cleaning toys.  They have an adorable mop that they like to swing around and fling dust across the room and a cute little bucket to fill with toys and then dump everywhere.  During the early days of this quarantine, I made a brilliant decision to stash the toy cleaning supplies and break out the real stuff.  We go through more paper towels and wipes than we used to.  I have had to fix the dust buster several times before the idea of not vacuuming up larger items finally clicked. Some of it starts with hand over hand instruction, but on day 3,743,849 of quarantine, my kids are housework rock stars! Particularly when I take my mom-goggles off and set my expectations at a reasonable level. The most important item for us is the dry erase board!  Every day I write a list and the kids work together to wipe off each item. 

Here are some lists found online for age appropriate chores and household tasks.  Keep in mind that kids who haven’t done much housework before may need more help at first.  Competition and scoring systems may work in a house full of kids who normally play organized sports.  Lots of praise and gentle redirection may work better for kids who are new at this. Shorter lists may help for those who struggle to stay on task.  Be clear about your expectations.  Even show photos of what you want a finished project to look like.  Who knows, you may end up with a sparkling house and a few minutes to sit and relax!

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