Chores you should share with children
June 16, 2014  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Household chores are one of the most tedious responsibilities we assume each and every day.  They hover over us, our efforts many times go by unnoticed and on occasions, they are the very reason of too many arguments. That´s why it´s very important everyone pitch in to the common good. However, this isn’t the only reason why your children should share everyday chores at home. The main reason is that it´s good for their personal development: it improves their self-esteem; it makes them more independent and allows for their social integration.

Responsibility should be taught at a young age. If you want your child to be responsible in the future, he must learn to become responsible today. The good things is that it´s not difficult. You child just needs to assume small obligations. We´ll tell you when they should start what chores our children can help us out with. Keep Reading!

Starting at a very young age, children are able to pick up and leave objects in their place yet they aren´t quite capable of understanding the meaning of responsibility. Beginning at 3 years old however, they start to understand the concept of orders, which makes it a very good moment to begin teaching your child about responsibility.

Slowly, try delegating chores that are related exclusively to his world. For example: he needs to be in charge of his school bag, get dressed and undressed all by himself and pick up his toys.  Once he assumes these small tasks, you will be able to introduce some more: helping set the table, water the plants and cleaning the dust.  Introduce chores to your child gradually and evaluate how well he resolves them. It´s best he has a few a day than many chores ever once in a while.

The level of maturity should always be considered. We must know what our child is capable of doing and assign chores he can carry out succesfully. If not, he´ll feel he´s failing and his self-esteem will suffer.


When it comes to sharing chores with children, our behaviour as adults plays an important part.  Undoubtedly, you´ll have to be very patient at first when your son or daughter wears a t-shirt inside out, or spills water on the floor. Just make sure you don´t get angry. It´s best to explain how to do it and motivate your child to try again. Allow a generous amount of time to carry out the chores. Don´t pressure your child if he´s doing something else. Wait for him to finish before you assign him another chore. If he´s having a hard time with something, wait for him to look for a solution. If not, he´ll get used to having you solve all his problems.

Value his efforts and participation when he does things correctly. His attitude is far more important than the results. If he ‘picked up his toys but hasn’t placed them where they belong, thank him. The key is to get your child motivated.

What if your son or daughter refuses to help with the chores? You should be able to sit down to talk and reason. Explain all the advantages of collaborating. The sooner your child gets things done, the sooner he or she will be able to go outside and play and do all the things he enjoy the most. If your child is very young,  play some songs and games to make it fun. You can suggest a race to see who can put the most toys back into place. If he´s acting sad or tired, show that you can be flexible.  Lastly, your child should understand the concept of priorities. If his bedroom is a mess, a place where he can easily trip over and fall, he should tidy up.

As your child grows, you can change your strategy by explaining the great many benefits you get by doing chores. The main one being his own personal development:

Developing autonomy: If parents always resolve everything, their children take longer to mature and won´t be ready to be autonomous and independent. Two very important qualities to have as a n adult.

Enhancing their self-esteem: The more your child feels he is trusted,  the more he´ll feel valued. The effort is worth his while.

Social Integration: Teaching your child to be responsible will make him a better team player, something that will enable him to integrate into social groups easier.

Work Ethics: Being responsible makes your child value what it takes to get things done and he´ll respect the efforts others make.

It doesn´t come easy. Your child wont´ learn to become responsible overnight. Be patient. Each small task that he carries out is a triumph.

Do you agree that children should assume small household chores?


Photo Credits: Oleg

Photo Credits: Anita Hart


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