9 Household Chores that your Child can Do

Household chores for Children - Parenting Resources by ZenParent

Indian parents have a unique outlook on expectations from children. Many middle-class parents who can afford the basics in life believe that children should solely focus on education, and should not lift a finger around the house.  A lot of girls’ parents feel that since one day their daughter will end up doing all the household chores at her in-laws’ house, she might as well relax as long as she’s at her parent’s house. And of course boys are hardly ever “required” to do chores around the house. In contrast, in the West, each member of the family has certain responsibilities towards the household, regardless of how old he/she is.

Having children to do chores around the house has the following benefits:

  • It teaches them that no work is too small or menial
  • Makes them independent individuals
  • Builds a good work ethic
  • Makes them more organized adults
  • It rids them off the sense of entitlement and makes them aware of how privileged they actually are

Here are the top chores that children of most ages can do around the house:

1. Making their bed every morning: This habit is more than just a chore.  When you bed is set straight, it brings peace into your room. It means the day has already begun on a productive note.

bedImage Source: Flickr under creative common licence

2. Meal-time help: Have your children help to set the dishes, plates, cutlery, etc on the table. Helping to clear away after the meal is done is also a good habit to instill. This will go a long way in preventing them from being unorganized and indifferent when they get to college or a bachelor pad, where everything seems like such a big task because they’ve never done it before.

setImage source: Dollarphotoclub.com

3. Putting away their laundered clothes: This is a task that even young children can do easily. This teaches them to be organized and accountable. Bonus for you? The shouts for “Mom, I can’t find my sweater” or “Mom, where did you keep my blue shirt?” will be greatly reduced!

kids-laundryImage Source: Google images under creative common licence

4. Feeding the pet/taking the dog for a walk: Having a pet is a lot of joy and a lot of responsibility. Hand over this responsibility to your tween/teen to get them to understand how to take care of another living being. Give them the task of feeding the pet regularly and taking the dog for a walk. This prevents them from being too self-absorbed and also teaches them to schedule their activities around these commitments and stick to the plan.

PetsImage Source: Flickr under creative common licence

5. Ironing their own clothes: In India, we are lucky to have the iron wallah do the ironing for us. However teach your children(10+ years) how to iron their own clothes. Once they leave the home for college, this is a skill which will come in very handy.

ironingImage Source: Google images under creative common licence

6. Cleaning the family car/bike: This one’s a valuable lesson especially for that older teen who’s been hinting that he needs his own vehicle. It makes them aware of the non-glamorous aspect and responsibility of owning expensive things. For the younger kids, helping wash the car occasionally is a fun activity by itself!

responChoresImage source: Dollarphotoclub.com

7. Prep for Cooking: Kids under 7 can be given the responsibility of sorting the different vegetables and washing them before they’re about to be cut. Older kids can start off with peeling the skin off vegetables and slowly progress to chopping them.

8. Odd Jobs around the house: Every home has these small jobs of repair/replacement that keep coming up like replacing bulbs, fixing that loose screw, hammering a nail etc. Slowly involve your teen and teach them these valuable skills and have them do it around the house. They will thank you for it when it’s time for them to have their own place.

oddjobsImage Source: Flickr under creative common licence

9. Preparing the Weekend Breakfast: Have your child make a sandwich, omelet, dosa or any other simple breakfast on weekends. You might be surprised at how eagerly your kids might agree to this and how excited they will be to try new things! Ignore the mess they might make in the process and remember that fixing a simple meal is a critical skill which will stand everyone in good stead, man or woman.

cookingSource: Reusable Google images

And remember, it’s not about how perfectly our kids do these household chores but the habits we’re trying to instill in them, starting today!

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