I was talking with my sisters-in-law about parenting and chores, and one of them had a great idea. She said she had heard of people giving their children a new responsibility on their birthday. For example, starting on your child’s 5th birthday, he would then be responsible for making his own bed. Previous to age 5, mom and child could do it together, but on the child’s 5th birthday, bed making is their new responsibility.
I think this is great idea because you can prep your child for their new responsibility by talking about what will happen on their birthday. “When you turn 5, you will be responsible for making your bed each morning by yourself.” With each birthday, the chores can get more involved. (As a side note, if “chore” has a negative connotation for your children, think of a different word that has less of a stigma attached to it like “job” or “task” etc.)
This is an idea we’re going to try in our family. I think that assigning chores gradually and making them age appropriate is a great way to get children into the habit of helping around the house and fulfilling their family responsibilities.
Please submit your comments below about the ages at which certain chores should be assigned or any wisdom on chores in general.