Often posts about chores for children discuss the very important way chores/jobs help children develop a sense of responsibility and purpose within the family. There are many reasons why children should help around the house and one of them is learning money lessons.
It’s not a comfortable subject for many, but that is precisely why we need to teach our children the value of work, and the importance of saving. The more they learn, the more likely they will be to act responsibly with money.
When my son was a little over 3, he started asking questions about wanting to replace a toy that had been lost in a recent move. We told him we couldn’t just replace every thing that gets lost because toys cost money. That led us to a discussion about how Daddy works to make money so we can pay for a house, electricity, food and clothes, etc.
Mommy works to clean the house and clothes and take care of the kids so that we can teach them our values and make sure they are safe.
Every time we were in a store that sold toys, my son asked if he could have something. I told him he needed to have money to buy it or ask for it for his birthday or Christmas. He understood, but never stopped asking. (This began the stage where we avoided the toy section at the local store otherwise we would be dragging a tantrum-ing child out of the store-guaranteed!)
Since he was showing us his interest in learning about money we figured it was time to teach him some solid lessons about how to earn it and how to be responsible with it.
Money Lessons through Chores
My husband and I decided to start letting him earn money for feeding our dog. He earned $1 per week.
When he was 4, my son was always trying to help me fold clothes. Without knowing exactly how to fold, it was more work for me to re-fold things that he had tried to help with.I decided to have him be the “sock match-er”. This way he could help with the laundry, but in a way that was more appropriate for his skills. He earned an additional dollar per week.
We continue this $1 “raise” at each birthday and also add a “job” onto the chore chart. This structure has continued with all of our children.
Our kids do have tasks that they must help with without receiving money compensation. These jobs include filling the bird feeders outside, cleaning up their toys, and putting away their folded clothes. We have added making their beds and setting the table as they have gotten older too.
They help clean windows when I am working on that, or help mop the floor. This is all teaching. Children need to learn to care for a house, how often to clean and what to use to do it. By letting my chilren develop the skill of cleaning, I am fostering what could become a job added to their chore list in the future.
I remind myself that when I tell my children “no”, when they have asked to help me, they are being conditioned to stop asking. (They may stop asking anyway when they reach the teen years, but my goal is to nurture what I can now, rather than neglect to foster important skills.) I have trained myself to say, “Yes, I would love it if you would help me. Let’s see what you can do.” (Most of the time, anyway!)
I do like that this system of money lessons through chores teaches my children that some work gains pay and other work needs to be done even if it does not earn you any money. That is exactly like what we SAHMs do all day!
Chores Kids Can Do By Age
Age 2: Help clean up toys, hold the shopping list at the grocery store, help clean around the house.
Age 3: All of the above plus…Feed the pet (with supervision), match socks, set napkins on the table for meals. pull weeds, clean windows, dust.
Age 4: All of the above plus…Match socks, take laundry out of the dryer, set the table (with guidance at first), stir food in bowls when baking or cooking, clean up toys, put their folded clothes away.
Age 5: All of the above plus…homework, get the mail, sweep, wash sinks and counters, mop floors, clean baseboards.
All ages: Detailed list of chores for kids by age.
Chores by age chart: This chores list for ages 2-8 is a great one to keep.
Detailed money lessons through chores chart system
This chore chart system will keep your kids helping as much as possible! It rewards them well for completing jobs daily. Why shouldn’t they help every day? We moms can not keep up with it all, and our kids are part of the family. Their contribution is necessary.
Household chores for kids teaches children to be responsible, and there are many money lessons through chores learned in the end.
At what age did you start teaching your child to do chores around the house?
This post was featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Parenting Tips.
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Sally Chippendale says
Thanks again for more ideas. At first I used to be a clean freak until my Mum pointed out that sometimes kids learn by making messes. Now they take their own plates away and yes its more to vacuum but what they are learning is to be responsible and I'll be glad later on. Thanks for all the ideas. Since winter is coming (teehee,that sounded very game of thrones) we will have lots of socks that they can match up soon.