How old should we start teaching our children to do the household work?

Philippines
March 3, 2009 3:07am CST
Isn’t it cute to see young children imitate what the older ones do at home? I mean, doing the simple household tasks like sweeping the floor, washing and folding the clothes, washing the dishes, tidying up the mess, doing carpentry works and many other things. My only daughter is just three years old, so I have no idea when I should really teach her the simple household works. She is so young but she thinks and acts older than her age. She loves to sweep the floor, fold the clean clothes and wash her underwear. I don’t stop her from doing these simple things which she voluntarily does even though it’s sometimes annoying and irritating. However, I believe that it is better to let children appreciate domestic works at an early age for that’s the time for them to learn and at the same time have fun while doing it. Of course, I am always there to supervise whatever she does. I am not sure though if what I am doing (letting her do these household work) is right. Please share with me your experience related to this.
5 people like this
53 responses
@sminut13 (1786)
• Singapore
5 Mar 09
i agree that it's really cute to see them imitating us hehe in my opinion, i agree with you regarding this issue too. let them enjoy doing domestic works but of course we need to supervise them. if they enjoy and have fun doing it, they will be much more willing to do chores when they are older. my son who is now turning 6 is quite reluctant to do his chores but maybe that could partly be because i 'order' him to or he's a boy or he's just not interested. thus, i sometimes give him rewards or praise him so that he's happy and does them. and i let him know that he's being a big help to me by helping me and he's even happier. i personally started doing my chores really late because i hated it and even now still hate it. but i've got no choice but to do it. i just wanted to go into my own world and keep reading storybooks but now there's not much chance. if they can do simple chores, let them because most children, as they grow older, they become lazier as well hehe^_^
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
Boys are much more not inclined to do the household work. It's in their nature. Lucky for those whose boys do love household chores .. I alwys make it a point that my daughter enjoys doing the household chores. . Thanks for responding. Have a nice day. Happy Mylotting.
@sminut13 (1786)
• Singapore
11 Jan 10
i agree most boys tend not to do househols chores. same goes for my son. for now, my daughter, who's turning 2, seems to do a little housework. she's happy to help whenever i give her some little chores to do. but who can say for the future.
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
5 Mar 09
All members of a household should contribute to the running of the household. Three is a little early but if they enjoy it you need patience while they learn. I see parents doing everything for their children and they are being shortchanged because the children have no life skills and expect that there will always be someone around to step 'n' fetchit for them. Kids tend to want to do things until they are effective in doing things then they do not want to do it anymore.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
That should be the case, I suppose. But there are many people whom I know don't even dare to care cleaning their own rooms. They rely on other people to clean it for them. it best to teach children to learn teh value of working.
@cher8558 (425)
• Canada
5 Mar 09
Hi friends, Let me tell you what happens when you don't teach your children at a young age. You will have a 14 year old girl like I do (I love her dearly) but she will not do ANYTHING. Trying to get her to just clean up her own room is near to impossible. I totally blame myself that I always did everything for her from when she was a baby. Now I am really paying the price and it is very frustrating. I find this so particularly because she is a girl and I did expect a lot more from her than my two boys age 19 and 23. They are pretty good, especially my oldest. So for goodness sakes, it doesn't hurt them to help around the house as young as possible. Hopefully it will become second nature to them. My mistake. Cheryl
• Philippines
23 Mar 09
That's what I am expecting if I will not teach my daughter at an early age. She will grow up tobe lazy and I don't want it to happen to her. Thanks for being so honest.
@tjsally (287)
• China
5 Mar 09
I think 3years old should be just correct. I have a little son. He'd like to help me to do a lot of things such as sweeping the floor, wiping the table, making the room in order. Althought he couldn't do all the things to my required, i feel satisfied with that. I'm sure he will do better with his growning up.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
You are very lucky to have a son who loves to help you in doing the household work. It seldom happens. I hope he would be able to help you with those household works till he gets older. have a wonderful day and enjoy doing the household work.
@sinokirin (901)
• China
5 Mar 09
hello, doris. i have a daughter too, but she is 2 mon only. i think 3-year-old is younger to do household, if your daughter did so, i think she is so clever and lovable. if my daughter would do so, i would be so excited. i hope it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
It is not serious household works actually. I am letting her enjoy doing it and at the same time teaching her the correct way of doing it. I really love my daughter, she's a good girl. Have a wonderful day. Enjoy mylotting.
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
5 Mar 09
the sooner the better. seems as if your daughter has already started, good for her. boys & girls both need to learn to do them. they'll both be out on their own one of these days.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Mar 09
Precisely, children should be taught early on to do household works.
@kezabelle (2980)
4 Mar 09
As long as they want to do it then i think any age is ok to be doing those things of course being supervised. My children are 5 and almost three both tidy up their toys throw their rubbish in the bin help get their pyjamas etc for bed and tidy their room. The 5 year old can wash the dishes but we dont make her she is still far to young to be made to do jobs like that but if she asks i allow her too because i also dont want her growing up thinking she can never have to do chores. Children deserve though to be children as long as possible and while i do expect them to tidy up their toys look after their own things etc I didnt have them to do the household chores that are mine as the adult to do.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Mar 09
Telling the children about tidying or keeping their toys is one of the best way to start doing household work.
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
4 Mar 09
My daughter just turned 2. She puts her own dishes in the sink, throws things in the trash by herself, puts her dirty clothes in her laundry bag, and things like that. She also likes to help with the laundry. Aside from pouring the detergent and turning the knob she does most of it. She also likes to help sweep, mop, vacuum, and stir things when I am cooking. I don't think it is ever to early to encourage them to help out. Making them is a different story, but if they want to help I say let them at that age.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
16 Mar 09
Wow, she's cute. I also it when my daughter voluntarily does those kinds of housework. I just hope that later when she gets older she will love doing housework. Take care. Have a nice day.
@rakittera (802)
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
I think 3 years old is till too young to do some serious household chores. I started doing serious household chores when I was seven years old. My mom would ask me to wash the dishes, make my bed, clean my room and sometimes water the plants. But you can still ask your 3-year old to do simple tasks such as keeping her toys when she's done. And if she's really interested in helping out around the house, then let her help. It's a good training for her. At that age, little girls tend to mimick the actions of the older people around her, so she may be imitating you. If she volunteers, let her help because it is also a way for her to discover things that she can now do as a toddler. It will also boost her self-confidence and make her feel independent. I have an officemate whose daughter is about the same age as yours and based from her stories, it seems that your daughters are in the exact same phase of growing. Her 3-year old always volunteers to help her out in cooking and other tasks around the house and would even be disappointed when her mom wouldn't let her. So, that is quite normal, I think.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Mar 09
Hello Rakittera. I'm actually not letting her do the serious household works. I just let her do the things on her own little way. Example, when she does the folding of the clothes, it's actually more of crumpling that folding. LOL. but to her it's folding. So I just allow her to do it on her own way.
@Erssyl (617)
• Philippines
9 Mar 09
When our young children help us with simple housework such as sweeping keeping their rooms tidy folding clothes we seem to feel lucky because not all children would want to do these things.They should be rewarded and praised accordingly.As long as your child is not forced to do,let them enjoy the task they can do as long as it will not hurt them or deprived them of enjoying their time as children.
@moondancer (7433)
• United States
5 Mar 09
When my children were young I taught them that they needed to put away their toys when hey were done with them. When they were 5 and in kindergarden they learned to get theri own clothes out for school the night before(of course I had to see what they chose and approve of it). They even made their beds every morning. They cleaned their own room, picking up and straightening out. They learned to wash dishes, dry and put them away when they were in the 2nd grade, just the dinner dishes. As I worked while they did this. They even took the trash out at an early age. It taught them responsibility. I gave them money for the work they did.
1 person likes this
@monsterj1 (188)
3 Mar 09
Maybe teacher her to pick up after herself I wouldnt be giving her the vaccum cleaner and duster and setting her free on the living room just yet.
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12051)
• United States
13 Mar 09
At three years she is more than old enough to play the cleanup game and pick up her own toys and put them away. That's plenty at that age. It is also a way for her to develop a good habit of keeping her room neat. There are lots of little things kids can do and at that age they actually want to help. My nephew like sweeping so much at that age my aunt bought him his own child sized broom. He loved to go sweep off the front porch. Of course now he's a teenager...
• Philippines
4 Nov 09
Actually she doen't know much about cleaning the house and the softbroom is in fact bigger than her. it's the thought of doing the housework which she loves to do . . The total accomplishment may not be alright but I'm happy that she is interested in doing these kind of work.
@Canellita (12051)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Lets hope she maintains that interest!
@jdyrj777 (6541)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Theres nothing wrong with what you are doing. My daughter also wanted to help at a very young age. As soon as they are old enought to walk i would teach my kids to pick up after themselves. My daughter loved vaccuming and dusting. Every saturday morning befroe cartoons were watched they had to clean their rooms. My kids are grown and out on their own now . My daughter also has her kids help wiht housework. They are better off helping with house work than they are thinking everyone should clean up after them.
• Philippines
16 Mar 09
I just don't let my daughter do the vaccuming and dusting because she once had an asthma. I don't want her to get sick. her favorite things to do are sweeping the floor and folding the clothes.
@jdyrj777 (6541)
• United States
16 Mar 09
Sweepiong can stir up alotta dust too.
@silverglint (2001)
• Philippines
29 Sep 09
I think you are doing a good job letting your little girl do some simple chores with you. Not only is she a help to you but you also get to bond as you spend time doing chores together. It's good that she has a positive outlook about doing house chores, I think she will less likely dread doing chores when she is a lot older since she has lots of wonderful memories of doing them with you.
• Philippines
29 Sep 09
It's very good to train children do the housework when they are still young. It may appear as play to them but that's the start of training them not to be lazy.
@eichen (19)
• Philippines
14 Sep 09
Hmm... My eldest son started to fix his bed at the age of 2. Little by little I let him help me doing things very lightly as if we are just playing. I do not let him do things that he does not want at first but I will let him see that it is fun doing household chores. We tend to sing while doing things. As you said, it is but ok to let kids to be exposed to household chores as early as possible for them to appreciate things that you are doing for them. To let the place neat and tidy so they can play in a nice and safe place. Always give reasons why you are doing things for them or with them, :-) Just to not over do things, if they will insist to make things that you find it difficult for them, just tell them that, "this is not the right time for you to do this things that Mom can. Just wait for the time that you can do these things at your right age. For the mean time, this and that is the only thing you can do with me at this time." My mom used to say, there are things that an adult can do that kids cannot do, like picking up heavy things, going to work, etc. But make an emphasis that there also things that we adults cannot do, like: going to school, playing baby's toys, etc. So they will learn to wait and see the difference of what they can do and they cannot do at the given time. Have a great day!
• Philippines
21 Sep 09
You are right. . . There are many things that only adults can do, yet the children wish they can do .. . I always tell my daughter to do these difficult work which require some physical efforts when she gets al little older. . Thanks fo sharing your experience.
@williamjisir (22884)
• China
13 Sep 09
Hello dorisday. Small kids sometimes do love to imitate their parents doing some household chores. My son used to mop the floor every day when he was not so busy with his study, but now he is very busy almost all day in the school for his intense study. He still does some household like doing some cooking for lunch and dinner when his mother is busy. I am glad that my son is capable of dealing with some household and can take care of himself now.
• Philippines
14 Sep 09
You are very lucky to have a good son. That's the price you got from teaching him household chores early on.
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
27 Mar 09
You mean my 1 year old shouldn't be cleaning the floor with one of her wipes lol. My kids are still too young ages 3 and 1 to assign real things to them to do. They think its fun. So I let them do what they think is help and then they get bored with it and run off to do something else. When they turn 5 I will start giving them things that they will have to do everyday on their own. Picking up their clothes after I have folded them, cleaning their rooms, picking up their dishes after they finish eating, putting their clothes in the laundry basket. I will still get them to help me with other things just so they can learn. Sometimes it does drive me crazy when i am trying to do something and they do exactly what I asked them not to do. Like climbing in the dryer or throwing the clothes on the floor, grabbing glasses out of the dishwasher but how else will they learn.
• Philippines
27 Mar 09
Learning while playing is fun.
@zhuhuifen46 (3484)
• China
16 Mar 09
I had the problem of asking my son to do the household work. It should be one of the skills children need to learn, whether for boys or for girls. Parents often focus on their studies, reluctant to spare any of their time for home chores. Actually, the skills is what they need other than the studies. Time is never enough, still is available if well managed. They can be taught from easy to difficult as early as you wish. It is the concept, not the actual labor, that matters. As long as we do not fear the supposed disturbing of their study, children are happy to accept the jobs as game or play, say wash a little towel, or socks, clean table and chair. Three or four are old enough to start. One of my relatives had two children, who shares a lot of their home chores, but still kept good shooling. When the boy was studying overseas, he saved his daily expenses by doing cooking for his roommates, while the taiwanese paid for food, the singapore paid the rent, and the hong kong guy drove the car. They had very good sharing of the cost and fun, as well. Good topic for discussion, more important to set out doing.
• Philippines
26 Mar 09
When we were still in school, we had our own "assignment at home". I started sweeping the floor, then washing the dishes until I got "promoted" to cooking. I'm so glad my mother made us do all those things.
@prasanta (1949)
• India
14 Mar 09
See I feel, it is a natural process. You need not teach her. See, already she has started picking up the thing. So, the process will continue. You just start giving instructions on how to do the jobs efficiently -- I mean with less physical effort and more accuracy. Never ask her to do any job, just praise her. Let her do whatever she likes to do. She will automatically pick up in her own speed.
• Philippines
26 Mar 09
Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it.