Teaching Household Chores to Children (and the Rewards You Can Give)

teen doing household chores

If you’re a first-time parent, you’re probably wondering¬†when’s the perfect time to teach household chores to your kid. Because after all, it’s not their duty to keep the house clean, but yours. However, teaching your child how to do specific chores has a significant impact on their growth and development.

Doing house chores teaches children how to care for themselves, a home, and a family. The skills they learn during childhood help them become more independent during adulthood. Moreover, chores allow them to experience essential skills like cooperating, communicating, negotiating, and working with a team.

Teaching children house chores make them feel how important they are in the family. It also gives them some sense of responsibility as they enjoy their time with siblings and parents. Studies show that kids who spend time with their parents are happier than those who don’t. So if you’re torn between doing house chores or spending time with your kids, encouraging them to contribute to the task could be a great idea.


House Chores According to Age

The first thing to consider is your child’s age. You have to make sure that they can do the chores you’re about to give so that they can fulfill their tasks. As they grow, give them bigger responsibilities.

Toddlers (2 to 3 y/o)

  • Picking up toys
  • Putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket
  • Setting table placemats

Preschoolers (4 to 5 y/o)

  • Help set table for dinner
  • Assist in food preparation (with adult supervision)
  • Help fold clean clothes after laundry
  • Assist in grocery shopping

Tweens> (6 to 11 y/o)

  • Help in watering plants
  • Feeding pets
  • Cleaning dishes
  • Taking out trash
  • Assistance in choosing daily meals
  • Sweep floors
  • Mopping floors
  • Dusting (windows, mirrors, and screens)
  • Bathroom sink cleaning

Teenagers (12 to 18 y/o)

  • Cooking
  • Appliance cleaning (electric fans, air conditioning systems¬†and parts, etc.)
  • Doing laundry
  • Cleaning garage
  • Car washing
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Room cleaning

a group of teenagers

Motivating Your Child to Participate

Children are different from one another. Some are easy to motivate, while others need a little push to do house chores. So how are you going to encourage your children to do their tasks? As mentioned, the first thing you need to think of is their age. Chores that are too hard may leave them frustrated, and chores that are too easy may bore them.

Even toddlers can participate in chores if given the right tasks appropriate for their age. Always start with easy chores. The goal here is not just to ask them to help clean but also to teach them that their contribution to the family is valued.

You can keep your child motivated in doing house chores by following these tips:

  1. Helping them with the chore until they learn how to do it without assistance.
  2. Being fair about giving chores. Children need to know that you don’t have favoritism and that everybody has their tasks to do.
  3. Explaining the importance of their chores.
  4. Appreciating their efforts.
  5. Giving rewards.
  6. Praising them for a job well done.

Reward Ideas For Kids

Encouraging a child to do a house chore isn’t easy, especially if they’re at the stage where all they care about is playing. Providing rewards is a good way to get them moving. Plus, it teaches them the value of hard work- something that they need to learn as early as possible.

Money is the common reward given by parents. But if you don’t like the idea of giving them cash at an early age, here are some reward ideas for kids:

Extra Screen Time

Kids love their mobile phones. While you may limit your child’s use of mobile devices and other gadgets, extra screen time would be a great incentive to give if they accomplish their tasks.

Play Dates

Younger kids love the idea of spending time outdoor to play with friends. Use their love for play dates as an opportunity to encourage them to help with house chores. The sooner they finish their task, the sooner they can go out and play.

Giving Desserts

Kids naturally have a sweet tooth. If your child loves eating ice cream or cake, tell them that you would allow them to eat more than usual, so they’ll stay motivated in doing their chores.


Toys aren’t just designed to entertain kids. These things are also helpful in stimulating their skills and senses. Reward your child with at least one toy a month of their choosing. Doing so will send them a message that hard work pays off.


Not all parents are fans of rewarding money. However, a minimal payment won’t do any harm. In fact, this is another opportunity for you to teach the importance of saving money. Encourage your child to save the money they earn, so they can buy anything they want at the end of the year.

Hopefully, this article helps you come up with a plan to teach house chores to your kid. Remember to give them house chores that they can finish and avoid giving complicated tasks. Also, always prioritize your child’s safety in giving chores.

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