How old should children be to start learning responsibilities?

August 29, 2006 6:06pm CST
when should we give the kids chores? i say as soon as they are able to walk and make a mess... little words like pick it up throw it in the garbage does not hurt!!
2 people like this
19 responses
@sanell (2114)
• United States
2 Sep 06
My 2 1/2 year old understands that when she is done with her toys she is to pick them up. If I ask her to pick up her toys she does it, when I ask her to throw something away she takes it to the garbage. Children, toddlers, is when you should start to teach them responsibility and how to pick up after themselves. Is she old enough to make her own bed? no, but she helps me put dishes away, she helps me with pulling the laundry out of the dryer, and she will even help me put clean laundry away. She watches what I do and she mimics me. So they know. I am not sure how it is for little boys but little girls love to play house!! Start them as young as you can. Instill good habits!
• Australia
17 Dec 06
sanell, I had five boys and I can assure you that boys enjoy helping mum as much as girls do, if they are taught from an early age and in the right way. My boys did all those things and enjoyed doing them. Whe I was disabled for about six months, my 8 and 9 year olds did absolutely everything - cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking - and loved doing it. My daughters-in-law are very thankful!
1 person likes this
• Australia
17 Dec 06
I have five sons. From a very early age, they were taught to be tidy and to help keep things in order. They never considered their behaviour as "doing chores" but as the natural and normal thing to do. Toys were never left lying around, but put away after use. Books were stacked. Model cars were "parked" in the right places. Clothes were either put away or put in the dirty washing. Bedrooms were kept tidy. They helped with setting the table, simple food preparation, dusting, and numerous tasks, but these were not chores. It was fun and they loved helping mum and being praised for it. As they grew older, they helped in more ways. They learnt to cook, iron and take care of themselves if necessary. This behaviour was normal and natural and flowed into their attitude to school. They had a love for learning and applied themselves to their studies (and their hobbies). Their minds had developed into set patterns and they were able to act responsibly, knowing that what they put into anything would pay dividends. They all passed through their adolescent years without any problems, achieved at least one university degree each, and are all happy in their chosen vocations. The three who are married are happily married with happy families. Discipline is NOT hard rules and punishment. Discipline is molding a character. Discipline is ruled by love. "Chores" is not a word ever used in our family. We all helped one another and enjoyed doing it.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jan 07
it sounds like you have a wonderful family, and are very lucky to have such, I hope that I can mold my children into such, and you have such a great attitude towards child development. I admire you. :)
@babray06 (1787)
• India
17 Sep 06
I think after five. Before that it should be only playtime.
1 person likes this
• Australia
17 Dec 06
I am not saying you are wrong, but have you thought that by the time they reach five, they have already learnt to depend on you or others, and might resist having to start doing what you have done for them?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Jan 07
well, since my son could understand, I already taught him how to clean up mess, starting from their body (washing hands etc...) packing away their toys, sometimes helping out (for fun) cleaning. there is no age really, of course the more they age the more responsibilities they have ...
• United States
5 Jan 07
Children should start learning about resposibility as soon as they can understand the concept. As far as teaching children good habits, that begins at birth and should never stop, this instills a sense of responsibility in children before they understand what responsibility means.
@YoMomma1 (922)
• United States
21 Nov 06
MY KIDS ATARTED CLEANING UP THEIR ROOMS WITH MY HELP AT AGE 3, AND NOW AT AGE 8 MY SON HAS A WEEKLY CHORE OF TAKING THE GARBAGE OUT AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO KEEP THIER ROOMS AT LEAST HALFWAY TIDY
@mssmith007 (1029)
• United States
21 Nov 06
My daughter is 2.5 and she knows how to clean up after herself. I don't really call it chores (sounds harsh for some reason), but I've taught her to put her toys away, clean up her spills, throw garbage in the bin, put her dishes away, put her shoes and jacket where they go ... and so many other normal things. I believe she likes the independence, because she even self-taught herself to put on her shoes, goes potty on her own and even tells me to "Go Out!" lol. Simple things like that should be taught to kids around 1.5-2 -- if not, it's letting them think it's okay to leave out toys, make messes, etc.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Sep 06
I heard from quite lot of people that children's first year to 3 years is the most important ages in their life. So Im going to try to teach them much as I can while they are little, not like a school but basics once my children are able to learn right from wrong. They spend most of that ages with the parents so parents got a responsiblity to teach their kids.
1 person likes this
@slimfox (900)
• United States
15 Sep 06
i have my 2 y/o picking up his toys in the evening..hes been doing this since he was 1.
1 person likes this
@chalmette69 (3011)
• United States
15 Sep 06
I agree with you, as soon as they can you can start teaching them things,like picking up there toys.Simple things at first. They need to know so later on they will do it.
1 person likes this
@ssh123 (31104)
• India
2 Sep 06
When they are between 8 and 10 they realise their responsibilities like shoe polish, keeping their books according to time; table, and may be helping their mother with some house hold chores. When they reach 12-14, they take greater responsibilities like 50% of household works they do. Help you in shopping, and concentrate on their studies without being told. etc. It all depends how parents entrust responsibilities and teaching them how to do.
1 person likes this
@bhchy1 (6052)
• United States
29 Aug 06
As soon as they are able to follow a command. Young children are so much more trainable because they haven't learned there is an option to say no yet...and for them it is a game.
1 person likes this
@jhannon (1410)
• United States
29 Aug 06
maybe 3..
1 person likes this
@swolecat (1278)
• United States
29 Aug 06
They should not be lazy in my oppinoion I think age 4 sounds right
1 person likes this
29 Aug 06
Yea, I agree. As soon as my boy was walking we taught him to put his empty bottle up on the bench. Now at 3 he often tries it on and gets lazy - handing us the cup or having tantrum cause he wants us to tidy his toys for him (which we agree to sometimes), but he knonws the standards - and puts things in the rubbish and so on.
1 person likes this
• India
21 Nov 06
minimum 15 years
• United States
6 Jan 07
15? You must have some lazy kids, or you yourself are quite lazy
@domenyag (1273)
• Philippines
9 Jan 07
as early as 3 we should already teach the basics of chores.
• United States
6 Jan 07
i started teaching my son at a very young age, whenever he was a baby and we got a toy out to play with I made sure he saw me put it back in the bin, shelf, ect when we were done, and as soon as he could get toys out on his own I taught him to pick them up when he was done playing with them, and I am beginning the same process with my 5 month old daughter. My son will be 5 in March and he cleans up after him self better than a grown man, when he eats he clears his dishes and puts them where they need to be (in the sink if its not disposable and there is no food left on it, in the trash if it is disposable, and on the counter by the sink if there is food on it), he cleans his own room as far as picking up his toys & dirty clothesd, putting away books, putting his shoes away, ect, and helps me make his bed up, he is trying to learn how to fold his clothes (at his own request, not mine), he brings his hamper to the laundry room when I need to wash his clothes, and takes it back to his room when I a done, and he also "cleans" his bathroom, he keeps everything picked up and in order, and if he drops toothepaste on the sink or counter he wipes it off, and lets me know if I need to clean something in it on days other than my normal bathroom cleaning days. I guess I am kind of lucky, but I say to start them out as early as possible, that is how I was taught and it seems to work, do not baby them or they will be lazy. There is no set age, as soon as they can see you do it start showing them.
@atticus (1381)
• Italy
21 Nov 06
don't know,i'm gonna think about that in some years i guess...