Getting your children to help around the house may not always be easy, but chores are an excellent way to teach the lifelong values of accepting responsibility, finding pleasure in work, and taking joy in caring for others. As you follow these guidelines and assign these age-appropriate tasks, remember that children are more willing to complete their chores if they receive praise and affirmation. More importantly, if you model a positive attitude in your own housework, you'll be much more successful in fostering a cooperative spirit in your home and helping your children develop a servant's heart.

Ages 2-3
Young children love to help Mommy and Daddy. Although their help may not always be constructive and beneficial at this age, parents are wise to take the extra time and effort to encourage their toddler's natural inclinations to assist in daily household chores.

Chore Examples:
    • Picking up toys and books
    • Helping feed pets
    • Wiping up spills
    • Hanging clothes on hooks
    • Helping make the bed
Ages 4-5
Preschoolers are still enthusiastic to help at this age, and they love learning new responsibilities they can do on their own; however, most chores still require your supervision and direct involvement. Immediate rewards are great motivators to provide a sense of accomplishment.

Chore Examples:
    • Helping set and clear the table
    • Carrying and putting away groceries
    • Helping prepare food and cooking meals
    • Dusting furniture
    • Making the bed
    • Bringing in the mail and newspapers
Ages 6-12
Children at this age have an overwhelming desire to be independent. Delegating chores requires both rewards for fulfilling responsibilities and also consequences for not completing tasks. To get the job done without those unpleasant nagging sessions, provide your child with a consistent routine and chore schedule.

Chore Examples:
    • Helping wash the car
    • Washing dishes
    • Vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping floors
    • Raking leaves and shoveling snow
    • Cooking simply prepared foods
    • Caring for pets
    • Cleaning the bathroom
    • Washing, drying, and folding laundry
    • Dumping the trash
Ages 13 or older
Teenagers should be able to complete many adult tasks without supervision; however, a teenager's schedule is usually full of extracurricular activities and jobs outside the home that may interfere with completing assigned chores at home. Make sure your child has a realistic amount of time to complete their duties.

Chore Examples:
    • Mowing lawns and weeding gardens
    • Purchasing groceries and preparing meals
    • Cleaning kitchen appliances
    • Performing small household and automotive repairs and maintenance