|Emily mowing the yard, age 16|
Sometimes people are surprised by this, perhaps thinking that kids shouldn't have to do much "work" around the house. I'm always shocked when I see chore lists for a 10-year-old that read like this:
- feed the dog
- clean your room
Kids are capable of so much more!
|Emily, Suzy, and James |
painting the barn in 2012
401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work at Home by Bonnie Runyon McCullough, which I found very inspiring. The book includes checklists of skills children should know at various ages. I photocopied these years ago, when my oldest (now 19) was still a preschooler, with the goal of ensuring that I would not miss any essential household skills.
Kids need to work in order to feel useful. Also our job as parents requires us to prepare them for adulthood. We aren't doing them any favors if we don't teach them how to load the clothes washer or what cleaners to use on the flooring. These skills are essential for real life and kids need to learn them.
|Suzy age 11, helping Grandma and |
Grandpa move some belongings
I thought I'd share a list of duties my kids accomplish on a regular basis and would love to hear your reactions. Are they doing enough? Too much? The right things? What do your kids do and why?
Outside Chores regularly include:Snow shoveling in season
Mowing (age 11+)
|James age 13 and Suzy age 11, |
helping their dad paint a cabinet for Grandpa
Weeding and other gardening
Taking out the trash
Taking out the trash
Cleaning their own rooms
Washing windows and sills
|David, James, and Suzy |
painting our barn in 2012
Cooking meals (usually the kids make all the meals)Cleaning up kitchen
Doing dishes by hand
Putting away groceries
I have done many different chore charts over the years and they all work well - for a while. Currently the three kids living at home rotate kitchen duties weekly and housecleaning chores monthly. If you'd like to know more, please comment.
Are the kids always cheerful? NO
Are the jobs always done well? NO
Am I always glad that they are doing the chores instead of me? NO
But it's important and it works.
Note: most of these pictures are taken on special work occasions because I don't often grab the camera and snap photos of the kids doing their toilet cleaning or dishwashing. Maybe I should. Nah, they wouldn't like it at all.