How young is too young for a child to be doing chores

Kimberley - posted on 11/05/2008 ( 40 moms have responded )

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Am I being unreasonable to expect my 5 year old to do the following: his dirty clothes in the hamper, help set the table, pick up toys & sweep the floor?

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Erin - posted on 11/11/2008

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Ummmmm....NO!!! It is never too early to learn responsibility or learn that they are part of a family and a home and it's a team effort to keep things going. I already have my 21/2 yr old put her clothes in her hamper and help me pick up her toys. You just have to make sure that you accept how well the job is done even if it's not perfect. That way they will want to keep helping and do more.

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Michelle - posted on 10/25/2011

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My daughter is a bit like Krystal Leslie, shes one and a half and she HAS to help clean or she gets upset with me. although its a bit of a pain but I think its character building, things arent handed to you and if it doesnt start young they could end up like my hubby who expects me to do everything for him because he was expected to do nothing when he was younger

Chrissy - posted on 11/12/2008

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I don't think so. As long as you tell him he is doing a good job he is perfectly capable of picking up his own stuff and helping out. He will probably need reminded and that would be fine at his age but it will help him learn to do that kind of thing on his own.

Krystal - posted on 11/11/2008

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i dont think so. my 2year old puts her clothes in the hamper, picks up her toys with me, helps make her bed, helps cook dinner, and puts her dishes in the sink, she likes to try and help fold laundry and help wipe down tables.

Christina - posted on 11/11/2008

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I think as long as they are physically capable of it they should learn to do chores at a yougn age so that they are used to it. I am going to start as soon as my baby is able to understand when I tell her to pick up her toys.



I think at a year old I will make her start to put her own toys away w/ my help of course.

I think I will have a one out one in rule with toys.

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My 15 month old puts dirty dishes in the sink, and toys in the toy box. My 2 year old puts dishes in the sink, picks up toys, dirty laundry in the basket, and pushes the wet clothes into the dryer.

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i reward my 4 year old for picking up his toys, like a quarter for his piggy bank because we are saving for a toy he wants or something. He see's me clean and i get him to help with easy things so he is a part of it but i wouldnt force him just yet or make him do too much but you can explain to him that mommy does everything else in the house and his room is his special place he needs to help with too. Putting clothes in the hamper and picking up toys seems very normal to me for that age. I have a broom vac and my son likes to use it so he does that, but not every time. Tomorrow we are going swimming so before we go he has to help clean his room.

Jenny - posted on 11/10/2008

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Not at all!!! My 5 yr old has more chores than that! And my 2 yr old does all that except sweep the floor....although she TRYS to sometimes.....so cute! It is good for kids to learn resposibility and have age appropriote jobs. Teaches them teamwork and respect, and they feel proud of themselves when they see what they have done. Shows them that although work is not always fun, it can be rewarding!

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No, in fact you are teaching your child how to accept responsibility. You are teaching him (or her) how to be a part of the family and how everyone helps out. My children enjoy the praise they get when they do little chores like this. It makes them feel like they are needed...and they are. Don't look at it as "making" them do things...you are ALLOWING them to make a difference. Just make sure you acknowlege their work and let them know the difference they make. Don't second guess your instinct...you are teaching them how to live. :)

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2008

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Nope. I have my 3 year old do these same things...and he has to put his shoes away when they come off and he has to clear his plate from the table.

Sarah - posted on 11/10/2008

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no your not they need to learn that a family helps one another. I have a 9 year old and an 11 year old. they have to clean their rooms sweep the floors, do dishes and take care of the pets. I just keep telling them that we are all in this togeather. that is what families do.

Rose - posted on 11/10/2008

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No not at all. My daughter is not quite 5 yet and she does all that plus she helps clean glass and dust. Just make it a little interesting.

Shannon - posted on 11/07/2008

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I was just thinking...you might also try to make a game out of it. If kids perceive that it is fun to do these things then they enjoy it more. Even though they may not be perfect at the task, you can accomplish more at the same time. Also, as someone else said, I've found that praise for cleaning or doing something you didn't ask goes a long way. Young kids love to see the pleasure on their parents' face. So let the excitement show when you are pleased with something he has done! Sometimes they do things just to see you happy with them again.

Shannon - posted on 11/07/2008

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Oh no! My son is 3 and he loves to sweep. In fact, he takes the broom away from me when I try. Toys are something I am working on now to make it a habit. Even my 20 month old is picking up her toys. Teaching a kid where to put dirty clothes is a good habit and setting the table is also good. If those are your only requirements, you are realistic. Starting them out young will make it easier as they get older. You might try making a chart or some other kind of reward system. I made my son a chart so tha twhen he picked things up he got a sticker. When he gets so many stickers let him chose a special dinner or a movie to watch with you. Special time with you is a great reward. My son also loves to collect pennies for hotwheels cars when he gets enough. It is up to you what rewards work for your son. I'd try not to bribe with candy, sweets, or expensive gifts though or he will come to expect that. If you do the reward system thing you also need to make sure he knows what the consequences will be as well and then if he doesn't do what you ask, don't do it for him, but follow through with your consequence. another thing Ive found that works is choices (as long as they are two choices you can live with. i.e. not carrots vs chocolate for snack). Ask him if he wants to pick his clothes up before he takes a bath or after he takes a bath. Hope some of these suggestiosn were helpful.

Allison - posted on 11/07/2008

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nope. My 3 year old, has to put his clothes in the hamper, clean up his toys and feed our dog every night. He really enjoys doing it. Some days he even wants to vacuum for me! lol :)

Geneva - posted on 11/07/2008

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Just remember every child matures at a differant rate. Some kids are not ready to handle the responsiblity on their own. With that said you do not stop from teaching them at an early age. I am a mother of four girls who at differant ages were ready to do their chores on their own. I still find myself reminding my 8 year old (who has ADD) to pick up her dirty clothes, put away the clean dishes, put her dishes in the sink, brush her teeth and etc. Where as my 18 month old will put her toys in the toy box with out being told. She just sees everyone else doing it. Just be encouraged at some point of time they will just do it out of habit. For my 12 yr, 8 yr, and 5 yr old girls I let them earn 10 min or 10 cent coupons. They get the time or the money everytime they do a chore without being asked. They can use the time to play on the computer, play game boy, or watch TV . They usually use the money for the 1.00 store. Get inventive and find what works for your family.

Cheryl - posted on 11/07/2008

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I think that's definitely reasonable. My son will be 5 in December and we expect him to do chores. In fact, we have our 3 year old help too. Most preschoolers like to help out especially if they have their own "tools"--like a kids broom, etc. We have 4 kids and I work from home, so everyone has to do their part regardless of their age. I don't think it's ever too early (or too late) to start teaching your child responsibilities and independence.



Cheryl

Donna - posted on 11/07/2008

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yeah my 5 year old daughter loves to help me with housework. Ithink it's a girl thing!!!

Amanda - posted on 11/07/2008

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No, my daughter is 3 1/2 and she knows that when you take your clothes off you put them in the laundry!!! She also helps to pack and unpack the dishwasher, tidies up toys, and LOVES to help with the dusting and vaccuming!!!

Donna - posted on 11/07/2008

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Not at all. even my 3 year old puys his dirty clothes in the wash, puts his toys away, and helps me and my daughter clear the dinner table. I was taught from an early age that helping to do a little housework is part of growing up, it taught me to respect my things and my parents.

Denise - posted on 11/06/2008

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Not at all, that is great! My 3 year old has the job of dishing out the cat food for the cats and putting his toys and books away.

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2008

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Not at all. It is good to get them helping with simple age appropriate chores. It makes your day go better when they help with what they can. If you can make a game of it or a sticker chart it may help him to be more enthusiastic. Prizes for doing things when not asked are a good tool too. Stickers are my favorite "prizes" my foster kids, when I had fosters, had a poster board in their room they could proudly display their prizes on. Catches on quick.

Rasha - posted on 11/06/2008

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I think now is the time to get them to help around the house, because at this age most children think that helping out is fun! It can be fun, it all depends on how you approach them with it. I have a one year old that helps me put his toys away and my 3 year old can empty the dishwasher all by himself and he loves it when I say... "wow what a big boy you are for helping mammy with the dishes" so yeah let them get used to helping you, it's what makes them learn responsibilities and also makes them become great individuals!

Danielle - posted on 11/06/2008

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My pediatrican recommened starting chores at 4. Small chores -- setting the table for dinner, picking up his clothes, cleaning his room (to a degree), feeding his guinea pig, etc. I set up a chore chart and he could earn privileges (a movie on dvd, special snack, game time) for each chore he accomplished. The chore chart really inspired him and it did have to evolve as he has aged.

Marlee - posted on 11/06/2008

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that is not too much to ask of him. However don't expect him to do the room just the same as you would. like the table he can set it,but if the spoons and forks end up on the plate don't move them off until you are eating, when it is your turn do it the way you would and hope he sees. when he sweeps the floor don't go behind him and re sweep. he will have a bigger sense of pride and will want to do more if he thinks he has done a good job.

Emily - posted on 11/05/2008

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Not a bit! My 3YO makes his bed, puts his dirty clothes in the hamper, his clean ones in his drawers, helps me set and clear the table, and sometimes helps me cook or vacuum. Having your child help with household chores, in my experience, makes a child who will be better prepared to work as an adult, someone who's not afraid to roll up their sleeves. He can do it, he's just going to need patient guidance, but I promise he'll learn!

Raeliene - posted on 11/05/2008

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absolutely not!!! you are teaching your child responsability. and teaching him steps to being a big boy!!

Lauren - posted on 11/05/2008

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I do not think so. I expect my son to do the same chores. He is five also. I have found he is real excited to help me, especially with dinner. Setting the table, and whatever else we need for dinner. I just have to remind myself that he sin't going to do the job as I would. But for the way a five year old would. So expectations have to be set a five year olds level.

Mindee - posted on 11/05/2008

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I found an awesome CD called Teaching Your Children to Fly. You should look into it.

Mindee - posted on 11/05/2008

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As soon as a child is old enough to crawl and get out his toys he is old enough to learn to put them back. My mother had us doing chores (and made it fun) as soon as we could walk. (dusting, trying to vacuum....) We didn't accomplish much at first, but we learned the importance of work very young and it didn't harm us one bit. I'm glad you're thinking of this now.

Julia - posted on 11/05/2008

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Not at all - my 3 year old does many of those things - he likes the feeling of being able to help. In fact, nearly every time I work on the dishes (by hand, our dishwasher has been broken for months now) he pulls up a chair beside me declaring "I holp!" and pulls the dishes out of the rinse water and puts them in the drainer for me. Of course sometimes his 'holp' really isn't, but I have to remind myself that it is a great teaching moment too.



I will say that if the room is particularly messy the child might feel overwhelmed - which happens frequently in our home (with 5 kids things can get overwhelming very quickly, heh). I also find that things go more smoothely too when I am involved with the child and helping.



Now I just need to figure out how to get my second oldest (8 yrs) to do her chores without a complete melt down (full out temper tantrum) everytime - its exhausting and takes her two or three times as long to get her job done than it should.

Shelley - posted on 11/05/2008

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Nope. I expect my two year old to put his clothes in the happer, dishes in the sink (plastic), toys away ect. I have the same expectations of my husband, however, and must say my two year old is better at the hamper.

Ashley - posted on 11/05/2008

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No - that is a great way to start chores. You can't expect someone to suddenly be able to clean when they hit 10 if you don't teach them how at a young age. Plus it instils in him the knowlege that the family is a society, and when you live in a society, you must contribute - we are a family and we all help each other out.

I think it is completely reasonable. As long as you don't expect it to be perfect every time, and know you will have to remind him sometimes.

Rochelle - posted on 11/05/2008

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I have my 2 yr old put away his dirty dishes, when he is done. Which includes scrapping food into the trash throwing his napkin away and putting his plate in the sink. He also helps clear the table. Like throwing all the napkins away putting things in the refrig that he cant break or spill.

He puts his toys away picks up his dirty clothes and throws them in the hamper. He even helps do the laundry. He puts clothes in the washer ( I help him with this) He then puts the clothes in the dryer. I dont make him help with the laundry he just wants too. I do make him pick up his dirty clothes.

I Would ask him to help but dont expect it to be perfect! Good luck and give them rewards when they do a good job!

Janyne - posted on 11/05/2008

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I dont think at that age it is to early my son has been picking up his clothes since he was about 2 and feeding his fish since about 3. they need to learn how to be responsible at a young age now that most schools start kindergarten at age 4 and expect them to clean up after themselves.

Cathrine - posted on 11/05/2008

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No, I am already training my 14 month old to pick up after himself. He is usually pretty good about listening when he throws something on the floor (like food or his sippy cup) and I tell him to pick it up. Of course there are times that I have to take his hands, make him go over to what he is supposed to pick up, make him lean down and pick it up, walk over to where it is supposed to go and have him put it down on the table or wherever the object goes. He is also learning to wipe up little spills if his sippy cup leaks or he manages to shake the little stopper out of place. He actually loves doing that, then throwing away the napkin. Five is the perfect age for what you have him doing, make sure that you praise him even if he doesn't do such a great job and let him know that he is doing his part in helping out the family (and you!) and making things go smoother.



Kids love to know when they are helping mama out. Like when I am done feeding mine, he "helps" me push the chair back under the table. I get the greatest smiles from him by letting him know what a good job he is doing and what a big help he is. I think a lot of people would be suprised at the comprehension a child that young can have.

Heidi - posted on 11/05/2008

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we have charts for our kids who are 8 and 5. the 8 year old has more responsibilities but they can earn "bucks" at the end of each week and can save them up for various rewards from treats, small toys, dates w/ mom & dad. they really want to help it's up to us to give them the chance to do it! and of course praise them for following it and doing well.

Mary - posted on 11/05/2008

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I think it's not early to teach a child responsiblity. as young as 2 years they can help putting toys and their folded laundry. then increase as they get older.

Samantha - posted on 11/05/2008

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Totally not. I expect that my daughter (2 1/2 )puts her books away in her room, as she does not have toys. I have begun getting her to put her dishes in the sink and wiping up a spill if she makes it. You need to teach them that every member in the house young and old has responsibilities. I also make a big deal about the small things that she does without being prompted by us. Good luck

Lori - posted on 11/05/2008

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I don't think so. He is part of the family, and those are jobs that are his responsibility to help the family out, and are easily within his capability level. He probably wont do a perfect job, but don't get after him for that, just thank him for doing the job. Check out www.loveandlogic.com then click on Articles. They will explain it better than I can.

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