By Rory Halperin
Updated on November 3, 2020
Experts often recommend assigning chores to your children—it fosters responsibility, boosts self-esteem, and helps them feel like an important part of the family. Daily or weekly chores also teach children skills they’ll use throughout their lives, such as setting priorities. The earlier kids learn to incorporate domestic duties into their everyday routine, the more likely they are to continue helping out when they hit their teen years.
But despite the benefits of chores, you can’t ignore a modern-day reality: Farming out to-dos usually means redoing tasks the right way after your child has skipped off to school or to bed. And if you’re stuck making the bed again anyway, what’s the help in that?
The key is giving kids the right chores for their ages. “There’s always a learning curve for kids, whether they’re toddlers or teenagers,” says Patricia Greenfield, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “But the best way to encourage kids to pitch in—without making more work for yourself—is to make sure the jobs are age-appropriate.” Check out these household tasks for kids of all ages.