Assigning Age Appropriate Chores
Everyone in a family has a function. While a baby’s function seems to mainly be eating and pooping, when they get a little older and learn to make new messes like emptying the toy box, it’s a perfect time to teach them to clean up.
If only I’d caught that early in the game, but I didn’t. Instead, I’d pick up all the toys after I put my kids down for a nap.
As they grew older and I expected them to clean their rooms, it took forever to get the job done. I mean it was like they walked into a time warp portal that slowed everything down.
I could check on them after an hour and the mess remained the same, or sometimes was worse!
I underestimated my children’s capabilities when it came to picking up their rooms when they were younger, but I did give them other age appropriate chores…or as I’d rather call them…responsibilities.
When they were old enough to match, that was their job when I was folding laundry. They matched the socks. Then they learned to put socks away after they were matched. Age appropriate chores are progressive.
I also gave them toilet paper patrol when they were about three. It was their job to make sure there was toilet paper in the bathrooms each morning (any time before lunch). The chore required one roll on the back of the toilet, and another on the holder. We got rid of the spring-loaded holder, so the roll just slid right on. Easy even for a three-year-old.
Toddler chore charts, child chore charts, and kids responsibility charts are all popular tools, but in my household they tended to turn chores into a competition, and that wasn’t my goal.
Responsibilities, no matter our age, are necessary contributions to the family. Matching socks actually helps, and having toilet paper on hand meets a necessity. Doing things that matter encourages everyone, but it still takes some nudging through the training process.