After being sick last week, and as a result not getting much housework done, it has made me realise that it's time our kids stepped up and learnt how to do more of the small household tasks and chores to help out, so making things easier for me - in general, but also when I'm sick, or things are busy!
The girls do currently help out by setting the table for dinner, keeping their room tidy and clean - and also they do have a chore chart of jobs they can do for some extra pocket money.
But at the ages of 6 and 8 how much should we be expecting them to do?
We started the chore chart of jobs for cash as a way to try and start to teach them about money - and its value. This works a little bit in spurts. When there is something particular the girls are saving for - they may go a few days looking for jobs to do to earn money to buy their new toy. But there is very little they really want or that excites them enough to want to work towards saving for. - Unless you count a big trampoline for the garden, but it would take several years of chores at the rates we pay for them to save up for that!!
In the last couple of weeks, the girls have started emptying the dishwasher each morning together, and they now have a 'shared' money box for money they earn together. This is becoming routine for them now - and they can see how the money is adding up for doing a task that takes very little time and effort.
My dilemma now is that I want to get them more involved in household chores, but have I made it difficult to ask them to do more chores without them expecting to be paid for them?
This morning I sat down with them to explain that I wanted to show them how to help out with more jobs about the house. I tried to use the example of setting the table as something they do every night which helps out but they don't get paid for it. I explained that last week very little housework got done because I was sick - but if that happens again in future, I would like for them to be able to help me out a little more. I really think they understood this and took it on board.
So I showed them how to do a few more chores they've never done before. For example empty the inside bins into the larger bin outside and how to sort and put on a load of washing.
I'm also working on making things more accessible for them. I just moved things around in our laundry - so now they can reach their own sets of pink rubber gloves, rags for cleaning and the white vinegar spray I use for cleaning.
Each day - particularly in the last two weeks of our school summer holidays here, I want to show the girls how they can help with various household jobs. I'm not expecting them to take over and do all the housework for me (although that would be lovely!!) I just want them to understand how things are done, and to help out now and then, so that if the need arises, they could do things for me!
I found an interesting article on how to help you child build self-confidence. In the latter part of this article it mentions what jobs and tasks kids can and should be doing by particular ages! For example:
"By three years of age, a child can be taught to clean sinks and tubs "
And then there's:
"By seven, a child can be cooking at least one meal a week from start to finish."
This last one about cooking is one I've been having a chat to our 8 year old about and she's keen to try. Both girls have helped lots making meals, but have never made one all by themselves from start to finish! So this is going to be an interesting thing to try this week! I will let you know how that goes!!
I also found another interesting list of
How about you? What jobs do your kids do? Do you pay them? How do you distinguish between chores they are expected to do, and those that you will pay them a little extra cash for? Do you think there are particular ages that kids should be doing particular jobs by - or should you just go by your own children and lifestyle?