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If you have a domestic helper, chances are they handle the job of cleaning and tidying the house. However, it’s good to get your kids to help out as well – according to this study, children who do chores grow up happier and healthier, as well as do better in life.
Making chores a family activity helps strengthen the bond between you and your kids, and allows them to develop valuable life skills.
“Simple moments such as washing the dishes, doing the laundry together can become precious memories with large significance when we, as parents, create the opportunity to engage in quality time doing such chores together… Helping one another out teaches them empathy, while cleaning up after themselves instils a sense of responsibility and independence,” says Claire Nazar, a Council Member at non-profit organisation Families for Life.
“Doing household activities together is a fantastic way to nurture our kids in appreciating how important and meaningful their contribution can be to the household. It is one of the simplest and most profound ways to learn that they play an integral role in the family,” she adds.
Here’s how you can involve your kids in household chores, along with helpful suggestions for age-appropriate tasks.
Ages 2 to 6
Children at this age view household chores as novel and fun activities so it’s not difficult to get them to pitch in. Some suitable chores for them include:
• Making their beds (first with parental help and then solo later)
• Putting away their toys in storage boxes or cabinets
• Helping in cleaning up the dining table
• Filling pet bowls with food and water
• Cleaning up spills with a rag or mop
Ages 7 to 9
As household chores become routine, you can expect kids to become bored with doing the same things daily. Make sure chores are rotated among family members everyone gets to do different tasks.
You can also consider establishing a rewards system as extra motivation. Reward your child with a slice of cake, a scoop of ice cream or colourful sheet sticker for a job well done. Some suitable chores for this age group include:
• Washing dishes
• Putting laundry in closets and drawers
• Vacuuming and mopping rooms
• Taking care of pets
Ages 10 to 12
Children in this age group tend to be more vocal about their displeasure in doing chores that they find boring, non-stimulating or interfering with other activities. At this point, you may need to explain to them that it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep the house clean.
Chores for this age group include:
• Cleaning their own room and rooms of other family members
• Washing dishes
• Dusting furniture and other fixtures in the home
• Preparing some meals for the family