Choices for Chores

So I’ve been on a roll with the whole chore thing the last week…You can see some of my other thoughts on it here, here and here.

Those first years when Grace was little, I struggled with what would be good jobs for her.  I didn’t want to expect to much.  So while I certainly wanted her chores to be age-appropriate, I didn’t want to make things too easy either.  We were aiming for some independence and self-help skills here.  Ultimately a parent has to really look at what stage a child is in and make decisions based on what works in that particular family.

Here at SimpleHome, the specific chore isn’t the most important thing.  Learning that there are jobs to be done and that we work as a team in our house, each doing his share, is my goal. So what would give the kids a sense of accomplishment, help me out a little and be age-appropriate?

Here is a list of just some of the many things that have graced their chore lists.

Self-help skills:

  • washing face & brushing teeth
  • combing hair
  • making bed
  • putting dirty clothes in hamper
  • straightening up room
  • picking up toys

Household jobs:

  • empty small garbages into large one
  • fold washcloths and kitchen towels
  • match socks
  • put shoes away
  • hang coats on hooks
  • feed pets
  • set table
  • put away condiments from table after meals
  • wash toys in soapy water
  • put away their clean laundry
  • straighten up their closet or drawers
  • dust
  • vacuum
  • sort dirty laundry

Outdoor chores:

  • weed gardens and flower beds
  • dig dandelions
  • sweep stairs and deck
  • water gardens and flower beds
  • rinse and fill bird bath
  • fill dog’s water dish outside

The complexity of their jobs obviously grew over time.  We started with simple helping tasks and evolved to more responsibility.  And finally, today, I can say that both my children can run the lawn mower.  Literally.  Today.  It was a glorious site, the two of them sharing the lawn mowing responsibility.

Life is good. Especially when you realize that your kids are growing into responsible little people capable of doing real home tasks.


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