Teaching My Child to do Chores


teaching my child to do chores

Jude is 5, well actually 5 and a half.

In the afternoons when we get home from school, Jude gets a case of the boreds. He paces around the house and gets into all the things he’s not supposed to. He’s a very task oriented child and needs something to do ALL THE TIME. I’ve been racking my brain trying to thing of ways to keep him entertained and out of trouble then I realized I could harness his energy into something productive. So, I created a chore check list.

His Chore Checklist typically contains 4-5 small chores for him to do before he can “play”.

I’ve incorporated some daily chores that I hope become habit like unpack your backpack, put away shoes, etc… then there are typical “chores” like move the laundry (from dryer to basket, from washer to dryer) and unload the dishwasher. And on occasion I may throw in a a special chore like wipe off table and chairs, clean windows, clean small bathroom, etc… All of these chores require instruction and supervision right now since he’s learning.

At first I thought unloading the dishwasher might be too advanced but I decided to give it a try (with some close supervision).

How my 5 year old unloads the dishwasher

  1. I remove the dangerous/sharp items like knives. He doesn’t posses enough awareness to put those items away just yet
  2. I give him control over unloading the dishwasher. I stay in the room so he can ask for assistance if needed but I give him space.
  3. He puts away the items he is familiar with and can reach. He will use a chair to reach items on the 1st shelf of the upper cabinets but he can’t really reach the 2nd or 3rd shelves.
  4. Items he can’t reach or doesn’t know where they go, he places on the counter so I can help him.
  5. When he has put everything away he closes the dishwasher, closes the cabinet doors and returns the chair to the table. (This step is important because the chore is not complete until everything is put away.)

After his work chores are done I usually have a “learning” activity on the chore chart. I got him a Kindergarten workbook that has day-by-day learning sheets. I have him complete the 2 assigned worksheets for the day then he is finished with his chores.

I like the chore list because it gives him control over his tasks and rather than having to constantly remind him of the task at hand, I can simply ask him what chore on his list he needs to be doing. This gives him control over things yet helps keep him on point.

Do your kids do chores? What kind of chores do you kids have based on their age?


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