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What are good ways for my child to help around the house?

What are appropriate chores I can give to my 5-year-old son? I want to start teaching him responsibility around the house.


Lori | Expert

Lori

This is a great time to get your young ones to pitch in and help out!  There are many chores that a five-year old can do.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Ask your little one to help set and clear the table. 
  2. They are also old enough to help out in the kitchen, give them small tasks such as helping pour ingredients into a bowl, help with stirring, and putting away groceries.   
  3. This is also a great time to have a daily 5-minute-tidy time where they help pick up things around the living room.  This teaches them that it isn’t important who owns something that is out of place, but that everyone work together to keep things picked up. 

You can create a chore chart, and put a star / sticker on it for each time a chore is completed and then give them a small reward at the end of the week.

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Charity | Expert

Charity

A child of almost any age can and loves to do chores.  

Keep in mind, with a child of five, chores will not always be done perfectly.  It's important to keep your expectations age appropriate and to focus on the positive.

 At five, your child can probably help sort laundry and clean up her toys.  She can help make her bed, again not perfectly, but but it's the effort that is important.  If you keep your dishes in a lower cabinet she can set the table for dinner.  

Just remember to keep the chores doable and not frustrating.  Provide lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement.

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Heather | Expert

Heather

Children love responsibility, especially if it's similar to what their parents do.  A five-year-old is old enough to clean their room, make their bed, and pick up their toys and mess in other rooms.  We also had our kids help set the table and clear the table. 

We then decided that this was a good age to introduce cleaning up after the pets with supervision.  One gets cat duty and the other gets dog duty. 

Depending on your decor, they may be ready to dust the house and sweep the kitchen floor, with supervision. 

As the children age, keep adding one more duty for them and keep it positive.  We don't like to call them chores - but jobs that they must perform to be part of the family.  We share the duties to keep the house looking nice. 

So far, we haven't had to introduce allowance because it is expected of them.  No matter what, when they accomplish their jobs for the day, reward them with a cookie, time on the video games or computer, playtime or another priviledge.  They will work harder for the goal at the end. 

We won't even let our kids play with friends until the job list is done for the day.  They work really fast when a friend is waiting on them and they have to meet their goals!

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Jocelyn | Expert

Jocelyn

At 5 years of age, my children were required to keep their rooms picked up. They were also asked to clean up toys and other belongings they brought into other areas of the house.

I would involve them in other chores such as helping me to feed the animals, taking out the trash, loading and unloading the dishwasher and even vacuuming at times.

I think at this age, they don't yet have the focus needed to do chores on their own, outside of their rooms and belongings. However, involving them with your chores teaches them how these things are done so that when they get to be 7 or 8 years of age they will be ready to do it on their own.

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