Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How young is too young?

My kids will be five and three in three months. How young is too young to start incorporating "chores" that I know they are capable of? Like my five yo making her bed and my three year old putting his cereal bowl (plastic) in the sink or dishwasher? (by the way, if your an old fashioned I cater to my kids etc type mom thats great and I wont argue your way of life, but thats not me. So Im not looking for those types of answers. ) Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Goldie_And_Luke at 9:28 AM on Aug. 4, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • my little girl has chores and she is 3. she picks up all her toys and books up, she she helps me load the dishwasher, she helps feed the animals, and makes her bed (that is funny to watch)

    as she gets old ground rules for chores will be set like she won't be able to go to her friends house unless all her chores are completed.

    Answer by rose549 at 9:38 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Now is the perfect time. Encourage them to do a few chores around the house that are age appropriate..
    I have a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old also and they each have their own little set of chores that are easy but they are very proud when they do them. My 3 yr old is in charge of feeding the dogs (i surpervise so he doesn't make a huge mess), picking up the dirty clothes from bedrooms in the morning, ad he helps me vaccum. My 5 yr old is in charge of giving the dogs water, sweeping (he has a broom that is his size) and dusting. They both have to pick up their room and take their dishes to the sink when they are done. I made a little chore chart that has the chore on it with a picture of the chore and I put velcro on their pictures and the board so that when they are done with it they can move their picture from the "to do" side over to the "done" side.

    Answer by Juggalette0327 at 9:42 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • IMO, you waited a little long. I started those kinds of chores you are talking about when they were 2. My 3yo cleans her own room including putting her toys and books in the correct bins (without help). She puts her dirty clothes in the hamper, helps fold and put them away after I wash them, makes her bed (which means straightening her blankets and stuffed animals). She takes her dirty dishes to the sink, cleans up the table and floor if she makes a mess. Unloads the kids (plastic) dishes from the dishwasher, keeps her toys picked up in the rest of the house and in the yard and helps carry in groceries (the bread and stuff like that).
    My 6yo does all that plus is expected to unload the dishwasher without help, sweep the kitchen, scrub the counters/stove if I ask, help take out the trash, bring her own laundry to the basement, fold and put away her own clothes without help (my 9yo learned to do her own laundry).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 9:50 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Jen - My kids have been doing all of that for a while I just havent implemented a system yet. They just did it if/when I asked. I was more wondering if these can be daily chores they are expected to do.. Does that make sense? It does in my head lol

    Answer by Goldie_And_Luke at 10:01 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Jen - My kids have been doing all of that for a while I just havent implemented a system yet. They just did it if/when I asked. I was more wondering if these can be daily chores they are expected to do.. Does that make sense? It does in my head lol

    Answer by Goldie_And_Luke at 10:03 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • we started "chores" at around 18 months, with putting toys away before bed and nap. What you suggest sounds to be very age appropriate. just make them fun.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:27 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • They are not too young for "chores" though you might want to call it something more positive. Contributing to the family builds self-esteem when done in a positive manner. At this point "chores" should be fun and something the kids are excited and proud to do. It sounds like you are on the right track. If you want more ideas check out the Love and Logic book or CD called, "Didn't I Tell You to Take Out the Trash?" It focusses more on older kids, but it does offer some suggestions for getting younger ones started.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:45 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I think that as soon as they are able then children should have some sort of chore. Cleaning up should be a routine that all children are involved in. My daughter is 2 and helps with clean-up.

    Answer by psugal at 11:23 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I think you're at a good point - especially if they're used to already doing chores. My kids are age 7 and almost 5 (her birthday is next month.) They have "job charts" listing what they are expected to do each day. When my DD was younger I used simple pictures to help her understand her assignments. They have jobs they're expected to do just because they live under our roof. ;) That's keeping their rooms tidy, making their beds, putting their laundry in the basket. They have other jobs they get a small allowance for. for example, if my son helps take the garage out to the curb he gets a quarter. If my DD helps fold laundry and put it away, she gets a quarter. If one of them sets the table they get a dime, etc. They can earn extra money with "above and beyond" jobs.

    If they wants toys or special treats outside of birthday/holidays they use their own money for it. It's been a great teaching tool for us.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:32 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • As soon as they started crawling, they started "helping" us clean up their toys. As soon as they were walking, they did more themselves, and by the time they were a year they could pick up their own toys.

    Now, they're 5, 3 and 2. They clean their own rooms (toys and pull covers up on their beds...obviously I do the good cleaning), they put their dirty clothes in the laundry, take their dirty dishes to the sink after scraping them in the garbage (even the 2 year old), the oldest takes out the garbage when it's a light enough bag (we do have a heavy one every so often LOL) and the 3 year old wipes the table off after supper.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 3:06 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.

Next question in Preschoolers (3-4)
My daughter is terrified!

Next question overall (Food & Drink)
Whole Chicken