All right, here goes. Many of us are asking ourselves these questions or have asked them at one point and time in our lives. At what age should I start imposing chores on my kids? Should my kids be helping out around the house? Are they old enough to help out in the yard? Should they be shovelling snow? The questions are endless, but let’s highlight a few and see where most people stand.
Let me start by saying that I am not in any way, shape or form a professional child psychologist. I am a father of two young boys, ages 5 and 8. I am very hands-on and very involved in raising my children. After reading many books, following in my parent’s footsteps and being extremely fortunate to be surrounded by great friends with families themselves, here are a few suggestions and idea’s my wife and I decided to implement. It’s worked out great for our children and us.
1- At what age should I start imposing chores on my kids?
Many parents have different ideas in this area of parenting, but my wife and I started our boys out quite young. By the age of 3, we insisted that our son put away his toys, put all the books back on the shelf and put his trash in the garbage bin. Straightforward chores I know, but not everyone agreed, and some acquaintances even said we were pushing too hard at a young age.
What do you think?
2- Should my kids be helping out around the house?
Yes, absolutely. This question ties in with #1, and we always make sure our little ones pull their weight around the house. At ages 5 and 8, both of my boys split specific tasks like feeding the cat, watering the plants, clearing the kitchen table. They also have individual tasks like cleaning up after spills, putting dishes in the dishwasher, cleaning their rooms and making the bed. I mean, if they’re not doing it, somebody else is doing it for them.
Do you implement these chores with your 5-6-7 and 8-year-olds?
3- Are they old enough to help out in the yard? (My personal favourite)
Working on our client’s lawns all week is something we love to do. But when the weekend rolls around, I want to spend as much time with the family as I can, so taking care of my yard can become a little time consuming for a few reasons. I do it by myself, and the grass needs to be mowed weekly, I have a lot of cedars, plants and garden beds to clean out, weed, trim and edge. The pool needs to be cleaned and vacuumed regularly etc. So as you all know. It can take up quite a bit of time to keep the outside of the house looking pristine.
We decided to get the boys working outside with me once a week on Saturdays. It was an excellent way for them to EARN their tv time and Xbox time, not to mention leaving more valuable time for us to PLAY as a family. With proper supervision, I allowed my eight-year-old to start using the electric push mower while my five year old filled a bucket of weeds that he picked out of the garden beds while I trimmed and edged the rest. My boys love it! So we figured out a new way to spend time together and get work done at the same time!
Chores were always a tradition in my family, and chores are a great way to teach kids responsibility, it gives them a feeling of importance, help kids learn to work together. Will help build that character that we all want them to have.
4- Should they be shovelling snow?
Our household uses a snowblower, and our walkway isn’t large, so I haven’t implemented shovelling snow for my kids yet. And utilizing a snowblower is a big NO for our family.
Taking out the garbage, doing their laundry will be the next step for us 🙂
I hope this information was useful to some of you.
Please feel free to comment or let our family know what you guys do. We are always learning and being creative with our children.
Have a great day, everyone and enjoy every moment.