If You Don’t Have Your Older Kids Doing Chores You’re Doing It Wrong

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cleaning kids

From the day my daughter was born, I have found parenthood to be a pretty back-breaking venture. A newborn literally needs you to do everything for them in order to survive and it’s very tiring physically. Of course, things only get marginally better over the next few years as you still have to do almost everything for a toddler. The pre-school years are a mixed bag as they love to help but frankly, kind of suck at everything that isn’t just wiping down the table with a damp cloth. However, around the age of five or six, kids can actually do stuff. No, seriously. I have been giving my big kids chores to do for the last year or so and it is absolutely wonderful. If you have older kids, get them to help out around the house- you won’t regret it.

My daughter is in second grade and my son is in kindergarten. I will admit that the little guy is still getting there but my daughter is amazing. She takes our (small) dog out, feeds him and refills his water. She keeps her own room tidy, can sort and fold laundry and put it away. She wipes her own toothpaste out of the sink and hangs up her bath towel. She can unload the top rack of the dishwasher and dry everything. She is also fantastic at organizing- if I tell her to sort out the toys in her closet and get everything into it’s proper place, she does it. It is kind of a dream come true, I won’t lie. It’s amazing what a 7-year old is capable of.

My hope in having my kids help out around the house is that it will be ingrained in them from the beginning that they are expected to contribute. I wasn’t the most helpful to my mother when I lived at home, right up until college. My parents gave me a great childhood but didn’t really expect a lot from me in the chores department. To that end, I wasn’t the best housekeeper when I first lived on my own but I still loved to be in clean surroundings. I learned as I got older how to get it all done but it wasn’t easy. Now, my house is almost always spotless because that is how I like it and I am so glad to have everyone in my house contributing to that goal.

I can understand the urge to let your kids be kids but it does them no favors to give them zero responsibilities. And of course, there’s the obvious- that it is fantastic to have all members of your household helping to run it successfully. Start small and keep adding on- when they don’t know any differently, it’s just a part of daily life.

(Image: Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock)