When is the best time to teach children household chores?

@Bebs08 (10685)
United States
May 19, 2008 11:53am CST
Some parents said that children will be taught some household chores when they are teen agers already and that they will not damage things if ever. there are some also who said, that it is good to teach children when they are yet little. Just by letting them help when you are doing household work. I remember my mother before she will not let me do the wor because she said I might not be able to do it right and she will redo it. so time consuming,. I ended up knowing nothing until I reach my teen age years. I learn to do stuff when I live with my aunt. what is your idea about this? when is the right time suppose to be?
13 people like this
47 responses
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
20 May 08
Small children generally like and want to help with chores and that is the best time to start teaching them. You do have to remember, however, that they're not going to do it perfectly or exactly as you would do it yourself, but that is not the important part of the lesson.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
Exactly right!! but some parents would stop their kids when they start to help for they might hurt or might make a mess. Thanks for sharing.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
21 May 08
I could see intervening if there was danger of them being hurt. As far as them making a mess, you then teach them to clean up the mess.
@bieke81 (1067)
• Belgium
20 May 08
I have two boys: the oldest is 3,5 and the youngest 2. They started with putting their toys away around age 1,5. At two they started helping with making the 'big bed' (that's the bed of me and DH) every day. They 'do' the pillows when I do the rest. The oldest helps with his bed too, but for the youngest it's two difficult to help. When they mess with their drinks, and they do it on purpose, they have to clean it up by their selves. If it's not on purpose, it depends on my mood, but most of the time they ask for something so they can do it by themself. When I'm doing the dishes, the oldes one sometimes helps with everything that's plastic. And he enjoys it. I can remember the story my mom loved to tell when I was younger. When I was two years old I wanted to help doing the dishes and my father gave me a plate of a new china my mother got. And after it was used for the first time, it was missing a plate (hmm, guess I'm smarter after that story, my son only gets plastic stuff to dry ;-) ) I think that they're never too young to learn. You can start at a young age when they help you while playing. They see it as a game and while they're at it, they are learning important basic scills. Nothing wrong with that.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
Oh!! that's a wonderful story.. Congrats for having good working kids with you. They would be glad someday they learn to work at an early age because of you. Thanks for sharing.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
20 May 08
As soon as they are able to do a task. I started teaching my kids as young as age 1 to help put away toys. If they learn it from the beginning, instead of waiting until they are older, they don't think twice about it and just assume it's a part of daily living. My kids had tons of chores and had a chore list. They were able to finish them easily. Make bed, take turns with taking care of certain things, help with dishes, etc. Now that our granddaughter, 11 months, lives with us and we babysit her when mom is at work, she is learning things already, like put away the toys. If they think they can wait until they are teenagers... well, let's just put it this way, GOOD LUCK!! We all know how well teenagers like to be made to do things, anyway. Imagine ONLY teaching them then? OY VAY!!
2 people like this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
thanks for the ideas.
@BYOLA2871 (4373)
• South Africa
20 May 08
as soon as kids learn to walk and talk i think it is ok to start terasching them how to do some things in the house it does not have to be tedious,you can have them stay with you in the kitchen whlie cooking,ask them to help you with spoon,or the salt etc,just something to make them feel they are part of what they are doing,they enjioy helping no matter how little.and when they learn to enoty doing this at a early age it becomes easy to move up to higher chores in the house
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
That's a good idea. I agree. thanks for sharing!!!!
@lieanat (1138)
• Malaysia
25 May 08
Hi, I think the best time is since little time. Especially when they initiate to help in doing chores. Besides, by teaching them do chores assure that you trust them and willing to guide them if they done wrong. So, indirectly both the parents and kids will have a closer bond with one another. Besides, the kids will learn to be more independent and confident in what they are doing.
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
28 May 08
Correct!! I agree with you in this idea. thanks for sharing.
@lieanat (1138)
• Malaysia
28 May 08
You're most welcome. I believe your kid will be the greater asset to our world in the future. Have a nice day.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
19 May 08
Start early- as soon as a child is able to perform the tasks. My son is 20 months old and for months has been helping set the table, pick up his toys, but laundry in the hamper and into the dryer from the washer. Waiting until later makes it harder to learn and does not instill a sense of responsibility. Plus, it is nice to be able to do chores with my son instead of having to wait until he is sleeping to do laundry.
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
19 May 08
Oh!! that is a very good idea. when you wait that they will be older before teaching them, it will be hard.. things will not be interesting for them to do.. or maybe they will become lazy and don't like to do things because they don;t know how to do it. thanks for the reply
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 08
The best idea is to start to teach children do chores early; as soon as they become aware of what needs to be done. There are always little stuff that needs to be worked on. As soon as they grow they need to take certain responsibility for what is happening at home. They need to do homework first and then do chores before they ever move on. If any child takes off without your knowledge, would you punish/ground them? I would definitely do that. You are still overall responsible for your kids.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
28 May 08
I started teaching my son a few chores early. He couldn't even walk yet when he started picking up most of his toys on his own. He's 2 years old now. He helps with a lot of stuff! He locks the doors when we come into the house (we check and make sure), he will carry in a bag of light stuff when we go to the store, he clears the table, he throws stuff away, he helps feed the dogs, he still picks up his toys, and in fact does a lot of his own room cleaning, with the exception of things like vacuuming, that he is still just too little for. Pretty much anything that is physically possible for him to do, he will do, and doesn't mind. IN fact he LOVES being Mommy's helper. I know that as kids get older, they tend to quit wanting to help so much, but I still think it's important that he learns how to do stuff at an early age. It will just make it that much easier for him when he gets older!
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
28 May 08
Oh!! how cute!!!! I could imagine his cute little hands picking up his toys. That's nice. I don't think so, that kids who are used to do stuff when they are young, they will be less doing this when they get older. The more they will be concerned of doing this stuff because they are used to it. Thank you very much for sharing this.
@MsCYPRAH (397)
23 May 08
The best time to start teaching a child is when they are ready to learn, when they actually ask you to share things or to do things by themselves. Often we don't allow children to learn new things because we are very controlling and always want it done our way. Yet by depriving children of the opportunity to show what they can do, we rob them of the confidence, self belief and experience necessary for their development. By the time the child reaches teenage years, it would be too late to teach them about jobs. They should start from about 7 years old, with simple things relating to looking after themselves, then graduate by 12/13 to giving a hand in the house with dishes etc. By mid-teens they would then have a healthy appreciation of their role in the family and feel a sense of value and appreciation in doing it. My daughter had long thick hair and I remember the first time she asked me if she could comb her own hair to go to school. She was just over 6 years old. I took a huge gulp because I could see the results already. I could also see the neighbours taking one look at her and saying how neglected she was! However, I decided that since she wanted to learn, that was the best way to teach her, and it would encourage me to gradually trust her to do things so I made a bargain with her. I told her that she could comb her hair twice each week and I would do it all other times until she got used to it. I will never forget the first morning she combed it. I wanted to die, seeing the state of it, but I let it go and praised her for her efforts. One month on, as she slowly got used to doing it herself, the results were improving. A few months later and she was combing it herself most days and feeling very proud of it. By the time she was 8 she didn't want me to do it any more. That's how she gradually learnt everything in the home, which turned her into one of the most confident teenagers - and achiever - I ever saw: fearless, determined and very self-assured. I am very happy with that. It taught me as the parent that there are always different routes to the same end and not just our own.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
23 May 08
wow!! that's a very good experience. You are right for letting your kid do it until she learns the right way how. Very good!! O wish I had that experience before when I was a kid. Congratulations!! you've made it to have a very responsible kid at 8? oh!! that's cool!!!! thank you very much for sharing this.
• Mauritius
22 May 08
Children should be taught from the very beginning. It should be started with showing them the simple things first so that when they grow up they become independent easily and quickly. In the beginning they should be taught that after playing they have to pick up all their toys etc this will make them become disciplined in a way. With time when they grow up they should be able to make their breakfast, i mean simpler things as if one day the parents are not at home they would know how they can prepare simple things and thus they would not stay hungry. And I think whenever they are taught something the reason behind showing them these things should be told to them, I think this would help them in understanding it better and they would not misunderstand their parents as well.
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
23 May 08
You are right!! I think that is suppose to be the good thing to do for parents but some parents who are over protective don't want their kids to be hurt or be tired what's why they don't let them work? Well, just a thought!! thanks fore sharing this.
@pumpkinjam (6878)
• United Kingdom
20 May 08
I don't think there is a "right" time. It depends on the parent and the child. I do think that children should be encouraged to help as soon as they take an interest and/or are able to help. Yes, it may be more time consuming to begin with but one year of spending that extra bit of time teaching them is surely worth the lifetime of them appreciating your hard work and helping with it. Both of my children help with housework. My 8 year old does quite a lot by himself such as keeping his bedroom tidy, making sure his own clothes are ready to go in the wash and the occassional errand to the shop. My toddler helps me wherever he can. He can load the washing machine and help to make drinks and things like that. I am lucky that I have two lovely boys who are so willing to help wherever they can. I am not going to tell them they can't unless I think they could hurt themselves or do something else bad.
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
Very good idea.. I am convinced now that teaching kids with household chores at an early age is the best time. Thanks for sharing.
@jcj_111776 (3220)
• Philippines
20 May 08
Hi Bebs. When my son was old enough to understand basic instructions, I first taught him how to pick up his toys and bring them back to their original place. I think he was barely 2 years old at that time. Now, at almost the age of 5, not only does he pick up his toys and put them to their right places, but he usually picks up after himself. For example, he accidentally bumps into something and it falls to the floor, he will automatically pick it up and put it right back. These days, I let him assist me in setting up the table. Just teach him the basics. When he's a year or a couple more years older, I'll teach him some more chores. I think it's best teach kids how to do simple household chores when they can fully understand why it's being taught to them. Incorporating a little fun will make the teaching process more enjoyable for them and prevents it from convincing them that it's a boring task.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
yeah, I agree with you. Good to teach kids when they are yet young. thanks for the reply
@kezabelle (2984)
19 May 08
From the day they can toddle to that toy box and throw the toys everywhere then they are old enough to toddle back over there and put them away!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 May 08
I like your idea...
@ebsharer (5516)
• United States
19 May 08
When a child can walk and pick things up its time to teach them. My daughter is 17 months old and she helps me clean up. She can't do much and can't do any thing herself yet but she sure does try. She helps with cleaning up her toys, she throws stuff in the garbage, helps put the clothes in the dryer, helps take them out. I want her to learn now that way it is easier to keep the pattern.
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
19 May 08
correct!! I agree with you. I just appreciate parents who are dealing with their kids that way in teaching them work. Not making them lazy by sparing them to do any simple work at home. Thanks for the reply
@Kowgirl (3490)
• United States
19 May 08
I started with my children right after they started to walk. They had to help pick up toys and put them away every night. It was somewhat like a game with them but they soon learned to do this without even being told or without my help. And now 4 of the six are still doing this. Everything must be put back in its place before they can go to bed. I guess it became a habit for them. They have done the same with their children and so far their children have been a big help for them because they have to work. This gives them some free quality time to spend with each other.
1 person likes this
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
19 May 08
That is very good!! I have seen some kids here in America, don;t know how to fix their things even if they are already teen agers. They just jump from bed without arranging them and even their rooms are very dis organized. Maybe there are others who are neat but this I think, depends upon the training they got from heir parents. Parents are very busy working and no time to teach their children,,,, thanks for replying
@ellie333 (21018)
20 May 08
All three of mine once they were toddlers wanted to help mummy and they all including my son had their own miniture kitchens so if I was washing up they could too as they got slightly older I allowed them to do their plates and bowls in the sink and to help with the dustpan and brush help tidy their rooms etc. As they got slightly older 7/8 I would pay pocket money to them for doing certain chores. I had a list that they could choose from and each one on the list they done they got 50p ($1), this encouraged them to do more but I would never make them. I believe the earlier the better as both my older children who have now left home can cook and clean without problems. Ellie :D
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11837)
20 May 08
I think that children can start to help around the house when they are very young. They enjoy 'helping', even if they aren't very good at it, and of course they are learning whilst they are doing so. My youngest really enjoys emptying the washing machine, and he passes me the items one by one as I peg them out. It's really cute to watch!
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
Oh!! how cute!!I could imagine your little kid helping the laundry. Oh!! that's nice. I can say that parents who are teaching this little kids to do simple work really care for them because they don't want them to have a hard time when they were older. Good thing. thanks for sharing
@GreenMoo (11837)
21 May 08
It is cute, but I occassionally end up with mud marked washing if he drops something! But putting it back through the machine doesn't hurt, and I still think it's worthwhile.
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
20 May 08
Well, I think that they should learn at a early age to start cleaning just by helping out some not alot but some like a little dusting taking clothes out of the dryer to put in a basket and picking up their own stuff and putting it where it goes. Then when they get old enough usually 8 then they can start dusting and vaccuming maybe and cleaning their rooms and helping with laundry by learning to separate clothes for the different loads and learning to cook easy small meals. Then by age 12 they should know how to do it all mostly and be doing dishes at this time and laundry. I knew how to do it all by the time I was eight my stepdad was strict. I could cook,clean,sew,do garden work and alot of everything else at eight. So I know how it is to have to to it all and so that is why I said start them out slowly maybe once a week with just small things then as they get older maybe a few times a week bye age sixteen they should pretty much be able to help out daily if so wished. I don't think it is ever to young to teach responsilbility of helping keep things clean.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
Very good advice. the best thing here is... you did experience it that means it is proven that teaching kids to work an an early age has a great advantage. I just pity those teen agers who don't even know how to cook egg. I hope parents would realize these things. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
22 May 08
Well my sister in law has 2 daughters and it is a shame to say they are 17 and 19 years old and don't know a thing about cooking they have tried but without proper instructions from their mom they even burn T.V. Dinners and burn toast. I would never let my children get to that age without knowing how to do some things. I have a 6 year old sister that I already have begun to teach small cooking methods to she loves making her ver own pizza and making cupcakes and other stuff that is kid friendly. I think all kids should be prepared some way for the future.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
The earlier the better. I have two kids 7.5 years old...and 17 month old....both are boys. And both of them have little chores to do.....yes, even the 17 month old who puts his plate in the sink after he's done eating and puts his dirty nappy and clothes in the laundry basket. He also likes to help me with 'cleaning'. I refused to do chores before I was married....I would do the dishes and a little cleaning...and the bathrooms sometimes....I found out how hard it was to do everything alone when I was married. I also realized that I was lazy because my mother waited till I was into my teenage years to start giving me chores....so, I decided to start early with my kids and it works.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
21 May 08
Oh!! that's a good experience huh? a living testimony!!! It is really late when we teach our kids chores when they already are teen agers.. I hope some parents would realized this. thanks for sharing...
@SViswan (12071)
• India
21 May 08
lol...yes...but if my parents made me do my chores ealier, I probably wouldn't have realized the value and taken it easy on my kids. Who knows?
@kykidd (6818)
• United States
19 May 08
I think you can start teaching children as young as being a toddler. Start by teaching them to pick up their toys. Then when they get a little older they can start helping to dust, or even rinse the dishes, etc.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
19 May 08
I think you have a great idea on this. some parents don;t trust their kids to do stuff afraid that they might break something or damage some furniture.. But you are right... It is a good start to let them help you little things when they yet toddlers. thanks for the reply
@anniepa (27280)
• United States
22 May 08
I think, like many other things, it all depends on the individual child. When they start showing an interest in helping I think you should let them, but that's just my opinion. My granddaughter is 11 and she's been helping my daughter clean and even some cooking for years and she does it well but my grandson, who is 13, isn't nearly as willing to do it and doesn't do it that well, I think on purpose so he isn't asked to do it...lol! They can't learn to "do it right" if they're not allowed to try, now are they? Annie
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
23 May 08
That's right!! if we allow the kids to help and guide them the right way to do it, that would be good. I hope I had that experience when I was young. lol. Thanks for sharing...