Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 20 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions
home iconFor Her
line break icon

Your toddler can clean baseboards — here’s an age-appropriate chore chart

Child Cleaning

Theloushe | Flickr CC

Calah Alexander - published on 06/30/17

It takes longer to teach a child to do a household task, but it's time well invested.

When we first moved to Ave Maria, Florida, my oldest was six. We immediately made friends with a family across the street whose children were similar ages. When we were at their house one day, my friend Anna told her 6-year-old to sweep up some crumbs.




Read more:
The one thing good parents do that harms their children

I was astonished. “He can sweep?” I asked incredulously. “Of course!” Anna replied. “Can’t Sienna?”

No, she could not. But she quickly learned, and I was permanently liberated from that most hated task.

Since then, I’ve gotten much better about teaching my children how to do household chores. It has the dual benefit of lightening my load and teaching them responsibility. But I’ve long struggled with what chores to teach them, and when.

Luckily, The Flanders Family has a free chart that shows age-appropriate chores for children, and you can print it out from their website. Behold:

Pretty cool, huh? Although some of these chores are not on our household radar (like carrying firewood because, Florida) I’ve found this to be a fairly accurate estimation of my own kids’ abilities.

One of my favorite 2- to 3-year-old chores is having them clean the baseboards. It’s a task perfectly suited to their height and hand-eye coordination, and while they don’t always do a fabulous job, it’s still more attention to the baseboards than they usually get.




Read more:
The dishes CAN’T wait: Why chores are important for everyone in the family

Additionally, I have found certain chores that aren’t on this list to be particularly suited to certain ages and personality types. I’m terrible at organization — I love to have clean counters, but the drawers and cabinets look like a tornado hit them.

My 11-year-old really likes organizing, and often takes it upon herself to organize a certain cabinet or drawer. I considered that an age-appropriate task for 10- to 11-year-olds until my 6-year-old, who is highly organized, surprised me by reorganizing the pantry one day.

They both did great jobs and were clearly proud of their contribution. The only downside is that they turned into little nazis when something was put back in the wrong place (usually by yours truly), but that kept the organization going a little longer than normal.

This chore chart is definitely a great baseline, but you’ll probably end up customizing it to your family’s particular needs and dynamics. And although it does take significantly longer to teach a child to do a task than to do it yourself, it’s time well invested. Eventually you’ll be able to go run errands on a Saturday and come back to find the chores all done, and done well.

And that, my friends, is truly liberation.

Tags:
Parenting

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
6
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
7
CHAPEL OUR LADY MIRACULOUS MEDAL
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.