Teaching Kids Responsibility with Chores

August 18, 2011 by  

Giving Your Children Jobs Around The House

I strongly feel that kids need to take part in the family chores. I think our job as parents is to raise them to be independent adults. If they constantly have everything done for them, once they are on their own… they flounder around like fish out of water. They want someone else to do it for them. I’ve seen it time and time again.

A Few Points to Keep In Mind

1) Kids like routine
2) Kids need guidelines
3) Kids like to feel grown up
4) Kids like to help

Use these points in a positive Way
Routine and guidelines – Have a schedule for chores. Make a job board. This is one that I used to use for years. I have since revamped it, but this is a very simple one I like to show people.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  The first name magnets I made, I let the kids color their own.  They loved that.  But you could also go the other route and make printables on your computer and make them look vintage or something that matches the kitchen or decor.

I started this when the triplets were three years old. They couldn’t read, so I drew the pictures.  Even though some of the chores like vacuuming might have been more than a three year old could accomplish the way I might want the job done… it gave them a sense of pride to help. Of course I helped, and now at ten years old they know how to do it properly.

For me… I go simple.

chore board

I use a magnetic dry erase board that I purchased at a discount store.

You can put the magnets directly on your refrigerator – maybe you don’t have the wall space to hang a chore board, or you don’t want one hanging, or you don’t want to purchase one – you don’t have to!

I put the children’s names across the top and the jobs they are assigned that week, underneath their names. Depending on age and ability will determine how many chores and of what level they are per child.  During the school year my children get two chores per week. (Keeping their rooms clean, beds made and laundry put away are routine chores. They are not on the chore board)  During the summer when they are all home, they have three per week.

Making The Chore Board

Purchased a box of these magnetized stickers for business cards at the office store. They are a little pricey, but I still have plenty left and they are the perfect size and the magnets on them are really strong.  The sheets of magnet stickers isn’t inexpensive either, and I have found that you have to cut it and the magnet isn’t’ as strong.


Either cut paper to size or the backs of old business cards.  I like to write the chore (and picture of the chore) on the card before I adhere it to the magnet. Then just peel off the backing of the sticker.

And place your paper onto the sticker.  There you have it.. Easy Peazy!

job board

Cleaning Buckets – Feeling Grown Up and Making it Fun To Help

By giving them their own “cleaning bucket” it helps to make them feel more important. The younger ones can have something like this with just some cleaning wipes, a sponge and dust cloth.
If you color code your kids, then be sure to have their bucket in “their color” to keep them straight.

When they get to be a little older and can handle cleaning chemicals responsibility they can have something more like this.

cleaning bucket large

Keep it fun and colorful!  The more positive we go into it, the more positive results you will get from the children.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or pulling teeth in order to have children learn responsibility.  But I think as adults we have the responsibility to teach our children how to live in the real world… and that starts at home.  Personally I think it needs to start early.  We aren’t helping our children by doing everything for them.  We help them by teaching them how to do things for themselves.


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11 Responses to “Teaching Kids Responsibility with Chores”
  1. I too believe that kids need to learn & help with chores. We do a “Family Clean Up’ – a few times a week I ring the dinner bell, all family members come to the kitchen and we all do a 10 minute clean up. Someone vacuums, someone de-clutters, someone does the bathrooms, someone dusts. First arrival gets first choice, so everyone is prompt! Keeps the house neat. teaches different jobs and makes me feel like I’m not the only one doing anything. Amazingly, my 13 year old always choices the bathroom clean up!

  2. Oksana says:

    Sandy, AMEN! I agree with what you say. And I love your simple chore chart.
    One thing I am trying to do this year is steer away from the concept of “chores” and replace them with “responsibilities.” Have been talking a lot about back to school on my blog this week. Come and visit.

  3. Sandy says:

    Thanks Oksana!

  4. Sandy says:

    Great plan. Really? Bathroom clean up. One of the worse in my books! lol

  5. Great tips Sandy! I love that everything is color coded! Specially the cleaning supplies according to their abilities. thank you for sharing!

  6. OneMommy says:

    It’s so important for kids to feel a part of the family with chores… I’ve been meaning to make a chore chart for our preschooler… One of many things I’d like to get done around here!

  7. Megan says:

    hmmm…your own cleaning bucket. That is a good idea.
    We update our chore chart often when we find we are slacking off or if the kids can just move on to more challenging chores. It is a work in progress.

  8. Sandy says:

    You are certainly right about that. Thanks Megan.

  9. Sandy says:

    Your welcome Laura!

  10. Melinda says:

    I love the colored bucket for each child. I’m going to try that. I love those magnets. You could use the extras for the cards of the pediatrician, dentist, etc for quick access on the fridge.

  11. Sandy says:

    True Melinda!

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