From the time children can understand what chores are, it is best to begin training them and developing healthy habits for discipline, motivation, and cleanliness. It can also help children with anxiety focus on a task rather than the anxiety itself and promotes positive feelings and accomplishment. Following is a list of common age-appropriate tasks and chores children can do.
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2 to 5 Years Old
During the toddler and preschool years, children can learn to do many simple chores that develop the skills needed to do these tasks throughout their lives. Toddler and preschool-age children can learn to put their toys or art supplies away and clean messes they have made with a wet cloth rag, use a dust cloth or a feather duster to clean surfaces and dust furniture, collect and put dirty clothes into a hamper and begin learning how to fold towels and hang clothing properly in a closet.
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6 to 9 Years Old
When children are a bit older, they can begin learning how to do more complex chores, such as folding and putting away their own laundry independently, sweeping or mopping the floor, collecting ingredients or washing produce for a meal, raking leaves in the fall, or helping to load the dishwasher, wash dishes by hand or wipe down countertops and cabinets.
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10 to 12 Years Old
By this age, children can learn to independently wash dishes, wash, dry and put away laundry, vacuum floors, take out garbage or recycling, and, with some supervision, assist with meal preparation. Parental discretion is advised for which types of chemicals or cleaning agents children use, aside from soap and water, because they are toxic and can be harmful to the skin and eyes.
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13 to 15 Years Old
Teens at this age can learn to properly clean a bathroom, including the tub and toilet, clear and clean out a refrigerator, mow the yard and tend the garden, wash a car, prepare basic meals and supervise younger children that are learning to do basic chores.
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16 to 18 Years Old
When teens reach this age, they should have a solid foundation for home maintenance and what must be done for the daily upkeep. By this age, teens should be able to do all the above chores independently, as well as follow recipes and prepare family meals on their own and helping to teach younger children how to do age-appropriate chores.
Training children early and progressively to do household chores builds a strong foundation for their future homes and families, as well as contributing in the home now, at any age. Rewarding progress and completed chores give extra motivation to work hard and get the chores done. Children of any age with anxiety can also benefit from being assigned chores because it can make them feel better about themselves, accomplished and helps get their minds off what is causing their anxiety by being busy with a task.
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