Parent to Parent: Kids and Chores

The best advice comes from someone who has walked in your shoes before. Even as a “veteran” mom, I love hearing how other parents do things and handle certain situations with their kids. Parent to Parent is where we ask other parents how they handle a situation and share the answers with you. It takes a village, so leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Today’s topic is kids and chores.

Parent to Parent
Chores can illicit cringes from both kids and parents alike. Who likes to hound on their kids to take the trash out or do the dishes only to have to do it over again?  Jump onto Pinterest, and you’ll find plenty of pins about age-appropriate chore lists. But the question is, how will those fit into your parenting style and family’s schedule? Read on to get some tips and tricks to make everyone’s life easier when it comes to having your kids help out around the house.

kids and chores
© Jaimie Spare | 2017

We asked what chores your children do and what age they are. It seems like most families that are giving their kids chores are starting off with easier chores for the younger kids. Children ages 2-5 are putting away laundry, clearing the table, and picking up their toys. Moving on to children ages 6-8, most families who are dolling out chores are asking their kids to help with the dishes, fold and put away their clothes, sweep, mop, dust, and help out with yard work.

Onward and upward, kids eight years old and older seem to be ready to move out, mastering more complicated chores given by their parents. Eight-year-olds are making dinner, doing their own dishes, washing and folding their own laundry.

In our house, my kids have a weekly calendar listing daily chores such as making their bed, feeding the dogs, and making sure their backpacks are ready to go by the door every night. Recently we decided to implement “jobs” into our house which are added onto my children’s chores. Their jobs are highlighted in green and are mostly mandatory, but if they want to skip it because of an unscheduled outing, they can. But, if they decide to skip their job, they won’t get that dollar at the end of the week. This only seems to matter to my daughter when she’s low on cash, but it matters to my son each and every week.

kids and chores
© K. Alford | Little Lake | 2017

How do you get started?

If your children have skated through life without lifting a finger, and you want to start making them earn their keep, chances are you didn’t realize the chores they were doing already. Keeping their room clean, setting or clearing the table and picking up their toys all count as chores!

Talking to them about the chores they are already doing will make it easier to add onto the chore list. Making a calendar with the days of the week on it and what they are expected to do on each day will help them and you keep track of their chores and jobs.

Keeping up with your kids’ chores can be a chore itself… Making sure they do their chores every day will get old quick if you let it. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel my friend, and that is a clean house without having to do it all yourself! Putting the effort in when they are younger will yield teenagers that will survive just fine when they go to college. They’ll already have figured out that their red socks can’t get washed with their white shirts, and that when it says dry clean only, it means dry clean only! 


I learned the hard way why you shouldn’t have a light switch on when you screw in the new light bulb, how to fix a toilet that keeps running, and that you should never put dish soap in the dishwasher!  These are basic skills that every young adult should know, and that all kids should learn before they go away to college.

So as you’re putting your kids to bed tonight, start looking around to see what isn’t done around the house that they could do. I’ll bet it’s more than you think!

What chores are assigned in your household?

About Kari Alford 25 Articles
Kari is a military wife who gets to travel the globe with her favorite people: her family! She has a husband who is funnier than she lets on, a daughter who is more creative than anyone she’s ever met, and a son who is always up for an adventure (especially if it involves a sword fight!) Kari hails from Michigan, but thanks to joining the Navy when she was 19, she has lived in California and Japan until returning to the Midwest in 2015. Kari loves to experience what cities have to offer but also loves to kayak with her family, or explore the wilderness. Every day is a different one since she’s on her children’s school’s PTO board, the AYLL board, and goes to college part time. Kari hates being bored, so you’ll often find her with her crochet bag, working on an afghan while she’s waiting for her children during practice.

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