My coworker shared with me how he hates doing the laundry. He especially hated that his young children never separate their underwear from their pants before throwing their clothes into the hamper.
I actually laughed inside….for two reasons!
First, I was delighted that doing the laundry was one of this dad’s household chores.
Secondly, I can totally relate to his plight. I hate doing the laundry!
In fact, there are so many household chores that I hate doing. I’m certain it’s because I’m a busy mom and there isn’t enough time in the day to work, parent my kids, play with my kids, enjoy life…and tend to a house!
So, I’ve decided to delegate those chores to the other members of the family.
How about you? Are there chores that you hate doing but you feel like you have to muddle through?
Especially if you have children ages 4 and older…
I firmly believe that assigning children age-appropriate household chores builds character, teaches them responsibilities and helps take the burden off of you!
Now, if you are that Type A, obsessive-compulsive parent…this post is probably not going to help you.
This post is for the parent that is looking to offload some of the household chores with no expectation that the chore will be done to their standards (at least not at first). 😉
Sometimes when you delegate you must accept the way the other person gets the job done. The goal is for the job to get done!
If the child doing the chore creates more work for you, it defeats the purpose. So, find something else to delegate to that child.
Here’s my top 10 list of chores children 4 and older can do to help relieve the burden on you!!
Children ages 4 and 5 can sort their clothes, separating their white clothes and the colorful clothes (parents may want to double check just to make sure).
Age 6 and above can sort their clothes, add laundry detergent/softener (with supervision) start the washing machine and transition the clothes to the dryer. Then they can remove the clothes from the dryer, fold (with supervision) and put away.
2. Cleaning Baseboards
My four-year-old was ecstatic when I handed her a Lysol wipe and instructed her on cleaning the baseboards and door knobs. It was the first time I realized that she was paying attention to adult commercials, she actually thought I gave her a Clorox wipe and she said, “Nothing cleans better than Clorox.” I almost fell over!! She has gotten proficient at cleaning the baseboards and the doorknobs.
Unless you are super sensitive to dust and you require a house spic and span of any dust, any amount of dusting done by anyone is a good thing. You may even make a bit of a game of dusting. Call it the white glove game. The team able to make their area dust free wins a prize.
Children physically capable of handling the vacuum cleaner can be very successful at this!
5. Washing dishes
Even though many households today have dishwashers, children 7 and 8 years old are quite capable at pre-washing the dishes and stacking the dishwasher. Younger kids may be allowed to wash the silverware (of course not the knives). Get them a good step stool and put them to work! They may also put the silverware away after they’ve been cleaned.
6. Clean room and make your bed
Children should be expected to clean their room at an early age…. Don’t you know the Clean Up Song…clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere, clean up, clean up, now it’s time to do your share!
Making the bed is something a 5-year-old, could do pretty well. How many times has your child asked to help when you were making your bed!! LET THEM!! Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect!
7. Shredding personal papers
Maybe you don’t see the value in shredding your personal papers, but I have too many friends that have been the victim of identity theft, and if someone’s going to take my identity I will not make it easy for them! So we shred personal documents! So long as the sharp blades are encased in the compartment which captures the shredded papers, a child as old as 6 or 7 could tackle this chore (w/ supervision).
8. Mowing and/or watering the lawn
I intentionally divided this chore because I believe a child old enough (ie. teenager) and physically capable of handling a lawn mower should be mowing your lawn. However, a child age 6 or 7 could water the lawn. This could be a tag team chore!
9. Washing and/or vacuuming the car
Another tag team chore with an older child washing the car and the younger child vacuuming out the inside (maybe with the supervision of the older child).
10. Cooking meals (at least once a week)
My teenage son chose Monday nights, as his night to cook dinner. Every Monday, I knew we were having spaghetti and meat sauce because that was his favorite. It was also the only thing he felt comfortable “cooking”. Soon he started to venture out to hamburgers on the George Foreman Grill. Either way, I knew dinner was not my responsibility on Monday nights. SCORE!
Sharing the household chores with your family makes more time for the family!
Allowing your children to contribute to the household at an early age, teaches children that they are part of a family…part of a team.
Chores also teach them the importance of responsibilities. If given a chore, they are responsible for completing it and if they don’t do it, it does not get done, it’s on them!
Everyone on the team must do their part!
What chores could you offload…em, delegate to your kids this week?