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Parenting: When can your child start doing house chores?

 One way or another, you will have to start assigning house chores to your children  (Shutterstock)

Many parents struggle to determine the right time for their children to start helping with house chores. Starting too early may frustrate the children into thinking they are being mistreated while waiting too long may give them the illusion that they don’t have to do house chores.

One way or another, you will have to start assigning house chores to your children so they don’t risk growing up feeling entitled and probably spoilt. House chores not only help children grow into independent and responsible adults but also keeps them active and productive within the house.

Besides, a chore down is one load off your back. Here are some age appropriate house chores to consider for your children:

Children between two to three years

It’s never too early for children to start helping around the house. From the age of two, they can start by picking their toys and storing them away or setting tablemats before dinner. You can also help them clear their mess quickly or set the table faster so they don’t feel frustrated. Children tend to lose interest in things they cannot hack quickly. You should not reprimand them when they refuse to do as they are told, they are only toddlers after all.

Four to six years

Preschoolers are generally stronger and slightly mature than toddlers. They can take in instructions and emulate as they are told. At this stage, they can clean after their own messes and they can even start dressing themselves.

They can also be trusted to set the table without supervision and takeaway dirty dishes after meals. They can also help you do the dishes, maybe the cups and plates that don’t need a lot of attention.

 Children between ages six and eight are much stronger and faster and can finish tasks quickly without supervision (Shutterstock)
Six to nine years

Children between  ages six and eight are much stronger and faster and they can finish tasks quickly without any supervision. It is at this age that you can give them some level of responsibility.

For instance, they can be put in charge of feeding pets or tending to an indoor garden. You can also start teaching them how to cook easy recipes and warming food on the microwave – preferably go for recipes that don’t need direct fire, like sandwiches and smoothies.

They can also learn how to serve themselves and understand the value of sharing.

Ten to fourteen years

This is a very crucial age as children are slowly transitioning into adulthood. They will expect you to treat them like adults and in the process probably evade doing house chores.

However, it is at this point when you are supposed to really keep them busy and active. They can wash dishes without supervision, cook some light meals, clean the carpet or keep their room clean. You don’t have to clean after them, bathe them, or even choose their outfits as they can handle that on their own.

Fifteen to eighteen years

Children between these ages are technically adults, they can complete all tasks around the house without supervision. In most cases, by the time children hit fifteen they should be able to take care of themselves as most are headed to boarding schools and there after college.

They can do their own laundry, wash dishes, prepare meals and even clean the house. However, you should not rest all the house chores on their shoulders as they also need time to rest and probably watch some TV or catch up with friends.

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