Why is it that at a certain age, kids stop doing chores? Is it because their parents are too busy? Is it because they've outgrown the need for chores? The answer is both. Kids often start doing chores when they're very young and want to help out. However, as they get older, they become more interested in other activities, such as sports and playing outside with friends. 

Responsibilities like making their beds or helping out with dishes can be hard to incorporate into the family routine. Every parent knows that getting kids to do chores can be a challenge but chores are an essential part of growing up and learning to be responsible. Rather than simply a burden, a balanced level of daily chores teaches responsibility and discipline to kids.

There are different ways you can encourage your child to help out around the house. The trick is to make chores fun and exciting. In this article, you will discover useful tips to get your kids to do household chores.

What do kids learn by doing chores?

From valuable life skills to manual dexterity, kids get much more out of chores than we may think. Here are things kids learn by doing chores:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Patience
  3. Confidence
  4. Teamwork
  5. Communication 

1. Responsibility

Life is filled with responsibilities, and learning to be more responsible is a valuable life skill to develop early on. For instance, having homework to complete, and throwing out the trash are two different responsibilities from two different sources (i.e., school responsibility and household chores) that encourage your child to manage his time effectively.

2. Patience

Kids may not always want to do chores immediately after school or dinner. However, if you explain how important the task is, and what it means, chances are they will learn that you can’t always do what you when you want to. Developing patience is essential and it will serve them later down the line. Delaying gratification or sacrificing a chunk of time to fulfill a task will give them a sense of accomplishment and develop their patience.

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3. Confidence

Every time your kid accomplishes what was asked of him, you should thank him for completing his chores. From picking up after themselves once they are done playing to making their own lunch, every task children fulfill should be congratulated.

4. Teamwork

Kids want to feel like they belong in their family and doing chores can help with that. When you ask your kids to do something around the house, it shows them that they're an essential part of the family unit and not just an extra mouth to feed or someone who gets in the way.

Chores can be done alone, but they are often done with siblings or other family members. Children can learn to collaborate with others by accomplishing specific tasks. This is especially true when cleaning up after dinner or doing laundry.

5. Communication 

When you're teaching your child how to do everyday chores, you're also teaching him how to communicate effectively with others. For instance, being able to negotiate the terms of chores, or ask how to do something is a great way to have him talk in a setting of responsibility and accountability.

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How early should kids start doing chores?

How early kids should start doing household chores depends on your child's age, attention span, and ability to follow instructions. Chores are different for each child, so you need to know what works best for your kid. Typically, parents introduce chores once kids turn 3 or 4 years old.

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How to motivate kids to do chores

1. Introduce a chore list from a young age

Children are more likely to do chores if they participate in them from a young age. Although it may seem like a lot of work, choose age-appropriate chores for your child. For example, if you want your toddler to help with the dishes, let him splash around in the sink or fill and empty the dishwasher. If you want your preschooler to help sweep up the floor, give him a dustpan and broom and let him sweep up small messes (such as crumbs) independently. 

Once your child knows what regular chores are expected of him, create a chore chart with pictures instead of words, so it's easier for kids to understand what needs to be done at each age level. Keep in mind that younger children can only complete one or two simple tasks at a time. For example, if your child is 5 years old and wants to get stickers for completing the chore chart, you can give him one sticker per week until he earns all four stickers on one month’s worth of completed charts.

2. Be flexible with your child's schedule

If your child has other activities like sports or arts, it's okay to schedule chores around these activities. For example, if your child goes to dance class every Friday at 6 p.m., you can set up a routine where they have 15 minutes after dinner to do their chores. This way they won't feel like they're missing out on anything while learning responsibility at home.

5. Make it fun

Kids need to enjoy doing their chores. If they don't, they won't do them. This is why it's so important to create an environment that makes chores fun. You can do this by making each chore its own game, like playing rock-paper-scissors for who gets to take out the garbage or creating a race out of cleaning up after dinner. 

6. Create rewards for chores

Kids love rewards, so give them something they want if they do their chores well and on time. This could be anything from watching TV or playing outside with friends. The reward should be something that makes sense for your family.

7. Lead by example

If you want your kids to do chores, the first thing you need to do is show them why it's essential. Set a good example by doing your chores around the house. This will also help them see that it's not just something they have to do, but something everyone does as part of being a family.

8. Don't overdo it with too many chores

If you're asking your kids to do too many chores for their age or ability level, they'll quickly get overwhelmed. Instead, start with just a few chores that are easy to complete and gradually add more as they become better at those. How chores are presented is an important thing to consider when parenting.

9. Create a routine chart

Motivate your child with Kairos’ editable routine chart. Start creating and editing your own kids’ morning, lunch, evening, or bedtime routine. With Kairo's routine cards, you can also make your child's daily tasks more fun.

There are no magic words that can instantly inspire your children to want to do chores. It's normal for kids to be reluctant to pitch in regarding family duties, especially if they feel like they're not getting the proper recognition. The best way to motivate your kids to do their chores is by reinforcing positive behavior and giving them little rewards.


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