Assigning Chores by Age and Capability

I thought I would share some of the chores my girls do around the house.  Parents who do not teach their children responsibility and diligence with chores do them a great disservice .  I see sooo many teens who try to take jobs and have no clue how to do anything.  Not only can they not perform basic tasks, they have no qualms about being late for work or just not showing up, as the mood strikes them.  This doesn’t bode well for their earning potential in their years after high school.  On-the-job training now by doing chores will make transition to “real” work a lot easier.

Daughter-1 is 13:

  • Cleans the bathroom – mirrors, counters, tubs and toilets.
  • Loads the washing machine.
  • Cleans the kitchen after dinner.
  • Puts up her clothes and helps put up other laundry as needed.
  • Cleans her room.
  • Makes lunch three days a week.
  • Takes out the trash and compost.

Daughter-2 is 10:

  • Vacuums.
  • Separates clothes from the children’s laundry basket into the master laundry baskets for washing.  My master baskets are 5 tall trash cans labeled towels, darks, lights, whites, reds.
  • Cleans the kitchen after breakfast and lunch.
  • Puts up her clothes and helps put up other laundry as needed.
  • Cleans her room.  She has a mean organization streak, and when it kicks in, Katy, bar the door.
  • Takes out the recycling and compost.
  • Waters the plants.

Daughter-3 is 7:

  • Moves clothes from the washer to the dryer.
  • Removes clothes from the dryer to my bed for me to fold.
  • Puts up her clothes and helps put up other laundry as needed.
  • Moves chairs out of the dining area for vacuuming; then moves them back.
  • Makes up her bed and her younger sister’s bed.
  • Cleans her room.  This is training in progress because she has lots of hiding places where she stuffs everything.
  • Picks up the living room every evening.

Some 3 year olds show an unusual aptitude for cleaning. Don’t kill it.

Daughter-4 is 3:

  • Supposed to help clean her room, but usually undoes what her sister just did just to cause great angst.  Now, she has defined tasks.  Pick up her shoes and put them in the shoe rack.  Pick up all the books and put them on the bookshelf.  Older sisters organize the bookshelf every so often.
  • Cleans up her own messes.  We figured out she liked to spill her drinks to see her sisters clean it up.  Now, the house rule is “if you mess it, you clean it.”  Accidents happen, but clean up doesn’t magically happen.
  • Dusts the baseboards.
  • Picks up clothes and puts them in the laundry basket.  Why clothes can’t go directly from their bodies to the laundry basket is one of life’s great mysteries.
  • Cleans the bottom half of windows and doors.  Have to be careful about the top half, or there may be a serious demarcation point before long.
  • Is learning to vacuum.  This is her choice, not ours.  She has a recessive cleaning gene inherited from my mother.

Daughter-5 is 2:

  • It’s a full time job keeping her busy, and so she is responsible for picking up the messes she makes, like scattering the recycling and rearranging the kitchen cabinets.
  • Picks up toys and anything else scattered on the floor in the halls and under the table.  It’s mostly her’s anyway.
  • Helps locate all the lost sippy cups.
  • Dusts the baseboards.

All children must bus the table when they are done eating.  Plates and cups on the counter.

There are a lot more chores that I’m not thinking of right now, but we have a fairly tidy home.  Not superbly clean or uncluttered, but liveable most of the time.

What chores do your kids do?


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