Chores

Chores, step family chores, stepchildren chores, assigning chores, creating chores, family chores, stepmom chores
Every family with children should have age appropriate chores for the children to do. Chores teaches them responsibility and how to take care of things.  It will show the children that they belong in the family. It also teaches them that when belonging in a family that everyone needs to share the work load of taking care of a house. Discipline along with chores teaches children how to become responsible adults as they get older and helps them appreciate the value of things and shows them how to take care of things. It also helps the child feel like they are contributing to the family.  At first they may be a little hesitant but then eventually it will make them feel like they are important.  If they do a chore wrong, praise them for the job they did and then kindly show them the correct way to do the chore.  Giving the children a lot of praise is really great.  Always show the children how to do a chore first before giving them that responsibility that way they know how to do it and what is expected of them when they do the chore.  Like for example: laundry, they might not know how to fold towels, show them the way you fold the towels that way they learn how to do it and then praise them for it when they try to do it on their own.  All of these chores are valuable life skills that they should learn to know for when they become adults and move out of the house.  There are so many young adults that don’t know how to do laundry or cook simple meals because they were never taught how to do it.  Having chores for them to do when they are children helps them learn these life skills to help better prepare them for when they grow up and move out of the house.  Doing everything for your children doesn’t teach them anything. But giving them a list of age appropriate chores teaches them valuable life skills that everyone needs in life.
Here is a chart that shows what age appropriate chores are to give you an example of what you can give as a chore for a child depending on their age.

Age Appropriate Chore List Ideas
Child’s Age
Personal Chores
Family Chores
2 -3 years old
Assist with making their beds
Put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket
Picking up the their toys
Fill up pet’s bowls with food & water with help
Help parent clean up spills
Dust
4-5 years old
Get dressed on their own
Set the table with help
Make their beds on their own
Clear the table with help
Bring their belongings from the car into the house
Help a parent prepare meals
Help a parent carry groceries
Match socks during laundry time
Answer the phone with help
Be responsible for pet’s food and water bowl
Hang up towels in the bathroom
Sweep and Clean floors with a dry mop
6-7 years old
Make their beds every day
Be responsible for pet’s food, water & exercise
Brush teeth on their own
Vaccum their rooms
Comb their hair
Wet mop rooms
Choose an outfit and get dressed on their own
Fold laundry with help
Write thank you notes with help
Put their laundry away
Put away dishes from dishwasher
Help prepare food with help
Empty trash cans
Answer the phone with help
8-11 years old
Take care of personal hygiene
Wash dishes
Keep bedroom clean
Wash the family car with help
Do homework on their own
Prepare a few easy meals on their own
Responsible for their belongings
Clean the bathroom with help
Write thank you notes for gifts
Rake leaves
Wake up using an alarm clock
Learn how to use the washer and dryer
Put all laundry away with help
Take the trash out to the curb
Test smoke alarms once a month with help
Screen phone calls & answer when needed
12-13 years old
Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
Change light bulbs
Write invitations and thank you notes
Change the vaccum bag
Set their alarm clocks
Dush, vaccum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
Maintain personal items such as recharging batteries
Clean mirrors
Change bed sheets
Mow the lawn with help
Keep their rooms tidy & do annual deep cleaning when needed
Baby sit (in most states)
Prepare an occasional family meal
14-15 years old
Responsible for all personal chores for ages 12 and 13
Do assigned housework without prompting
Responsible for library card and books
Do yard work as needed
Baby sit
Prepare food
Wash windows with help
16-18 years old
Responsible for all personal chores for ages 14 and 15
Do housework as needed
Responsible to earn spending money
Do yard work as needed
Responsible for purchasing their own clothes
Prepare family meals & serving it
Responsible for  car maintenance (gas, oil changes, etc)
Deep cleaning of household appliances
This chart came from Focus on the Family website
Chore Chart
When you figure out what chores you want your children to do make up a Chore Chart on Excel. Then put the Chore Description on the top left corner, then the days of the week going across.  Then in the cells put their names for each chore.  Then print it out and hang it up on the fridge or some place where they can see it every day.
Here are two examples of other ideas for a chore chart you can create.
Example A:

Example B:
Chore Rewards
For young kids ages 2-4: You can use stickers in a sticker book.
For children ages 5-10: You can give them more time on the tablet or more TV time, or more time to play on the video games. Another idea is to give them allowance, but a small amount.
For children ages 11-18:  Allowance is always a good thing, since they always want to buy things they want.  Or you can also give them more time on tablets, TV, video games or later bed times.

Allowance Ideas

You could ask the child what they think would be a great allowance as a suggestion, however you don’t have to agree with whatever they say.
Here’s a formula I have found that works well, 50 cents for every year. So if they are 7 years old, they would get $3.50 a week.
Another great idea would be to give 1 dollar per year to a child, which if they are 7 years old they would get $7.00 a week.
Chores that are not done: Any chore they don’t do that week I take 50 cents off of their allowance or you could take off more, it’s really up to you on how you want to handle chores that are not done.
If you have your stepchildren less than 50% of the time, I would only suggest to give less chores for them to do, because the main focus of their time should be spending time with their Father and as a blended family and not so much doing chores the entire time they are there.
When my stepchildren were here I would just ask if they would pick up after themselves for example: clean their rooms before they go home.  If they took showers to pick up towels and put dirty clothes where they need to go. If the stepchildren have too many chores when they are there, they will start to resent you and not want to come on the weekends. I also feel that since they are there less and do less chores, they don’t get as much allowance as the children that live there all of the time would.

Don’t forget to assign age appropriate chores to your children, they will thank you for it down the road as they get older and become adults.

Do you have a chore chart for your children to do? How much allowance do you give your children?


References:
Focus on the Family 2009, this information came from http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-challenges/motivating-kids-to-clean-up/age-appropriate-chores on February 24, 2016.


Published by Michelle T

Stepmom for 19 years overall, married for 10 years. I have three of my own children and three stepchildren who are adults now.

13 thoughts on “Chores

  1. I agree that you should start them off with age appropriate chores! There are so many children these days standing with their hands out, that never lift the same hands to help out one single bit.

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  2. I am just loving this as I have already put my kids in to such chores for the weekends. The good thing is they get involved very well & learn to adopt to situations when I fall sick so they do their best to help me when needed. The list is a great one & I am going to try those as well.

    Like

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