Age-appropriate chores for kids — Forever 39 Podcast
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Awww ... the good old days when we'd earn a measly $1 for scrubbing the kitchen floor, taking the trash out, cleaning up after Fido, and making our beds! For most Gen-Xers, chores were a rite of passage, and while today's kids live in a different world than we did, the benefits of having your kids do them remain the same.
On this episode of Forever 39, we're joined by Mike Prusinski, co-founder and president of BusyKid, an app that helps parents keep track of their kids chores. That's just part of what Annette and Megan talk about in the latest Forever 39 podcast — listen above.
Prusinski said chores are an important part of growing up, and teaching kids valuable skills. "Doing chores around the house adds so much to kids these days. It gives them a sense of how to learn work ethic, responsibility, accountability, and time management.
And for those kids that earn money from their chores, the app also teaches them how money works, something Prusinski said they aren't learning in schools.
"With all the financial decisions they're going to be faced with as they continue to grow up into teens and young adults, it's really important for them to not only have a strong work ethic, and also to do all these other things, including how to budget money, learn about taxes, and credit and loan," said Prusinski, who added that learning those financial skills now will help them once they transition into the real world.
If you're struggling to figure out what types of chores would work best for your kid, BusyKid created a breakdown for various age groups.
Chores can be tricky to assign to kids under the age of 5 since most of them can't be done without assistance. Prusinski suggested having your kids pick up their toys or check to see if the trash needs to be taken out. Once they hit age 6, Prusinski said they should be able to handle folding laundry, helping with any household pets, or dusting baseboards.
Clearing off the dinner table, wiping down kitchen surfaces, watering plants, and making their beds are all chores appropriate for kids ages 8 through 10.
Once kids turn 11, they should be able to handle more complex chores like packing their lunches, vacuuming, and dusting. And kids ages 13 and 14 can take on even greater responsibility, according to Prusinski. Some age-appropriate chores for these kids include mowing the lawn, washing floors and windows, and loading the dishwasher.
And as they continue into their teenage years, you can teach them what to expect in college by assigning them to cook their own meals and do their laundry.
So regardless of what you have your kid do, just having them do something could teach them some valuable life skills.
"There's all these positive character traits that go along with doing chores around the house," Prusinski said.
What types of chores keep your kids engaged? Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Annette and Megan, Forever 39
Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about unequal friendships, posting vacation photos on Facebook, and couples who wait to get divorced until their kids are older.