Assign Chores to Your Kids

 by Jennifer Dryden

Parents give many reasons for not assigning chores to their children. One is that they don’t want the hassle of arguing with their child to get the chores completed. Another is that mom or dad has time to do chores during the day, so they don’t want to take away from their child’s play time since they have been in school all day. Finally, another reason parents give for not having their child do chores is because the child doesn’t do it the way the parent wants.

As parents, our goal is to raise our kids to be future adults. If we don’t expect them to do chores, we are not equipping them for future service in their own families. We teach responsibility during childhood. If we don’t set realistic expectations and enforce them, we are not preparing our children for life as adults.

Below is a list from Focus on the Family of reasonable expectations for your children regarding chores.

Ages 6 and 7

  • Make their bed
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Choose the day’s outfit and get dressed
  • Write thank you notes with supervision
  • Be responsible for a pet’s food, water and exercise
  • Vacuum individual rooms
  • Wet mop individual rooms
  • Fold laundry with supervision
  • Put their laundry in their drawers and closets
  • Put away dishes from the dishwasher
  • Help prepare food with supervision
  • Empty indoor trash cans
  • Answer the phone with supervision

Ages 8 to 11

  • Take care of personal hygiene
  • Keep bedroom clean
  • Be responsible for homework
  • Be responsible for belongings
  • Write thank you notes for gifts
  • Wake up using an alarm clock
  • Wash dishes
  • Wash the family car with supervision
  • Prepare a few easy meals on their own
  • Clean the bathroom with supervision
  • Rake leaves
  • Learn to use the washer and dryer
  • Put all laundry away with supervision
  • Take the trash can to the curb for pick up

Ages 12 and 13

  • Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
  • Write invitations and thank you notes
  • Set their alarm clock
  • Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
  • Change bed sheets
  • Keep their rooms tidy and do a biannual deep cleaning
  • Change light bulbs
  • Change the vacuum bag
  • Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
  • Clean mirrors
  • Mow the lawn with supervision
  • Baby sit (in most states)
  • Prepare an occasional family meal