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When can I expect the kids to help clean the house?

They're really young, so I imagine not anytime soon. The specific chores I'm asking about are washing dishes, laundry, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and even some light cooking. When did your kids start doing these things?


Asked by Pristine_Dream at 11:52 PM on Sep. 20, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • It all starts when they are under a year. When you are picking up toys and they are mobile. You make a game of it. In a few months they are ablew to do a lot of the picking up of toys. A 2 yr old can help put napkins on the table. It grows as they grow. At 5 and 6 my grandkids take out the aluminum can to recylce. They seperate their own laundry on laundry day. They make their beds every morning. They help unload non breakable from the dish washer. The 6 yr old is learning how to sweep. After every meal they take turns getting the broom and dustpan. At age 12 my boys were taught and then responsible for their own laundry. Cooking is another one thats starts young. Helping to put stuff in a bowl, crack an egg, make a sandwich.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 12:05 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My boys are almost 4 and almost 5.
    They help me with the dishes (the load, and unload the dishwasher and load the dish wrack for my hand washed items) They wipe down the counters, and sweep. They help load and unload the washer and dryer. ...vacuuming is still a bit beyond them as they are still a little too short. And i was just thinking about when would be a good age to start some light cooking. ...i'm thinking in another 2 years or so. ...but they do sometimes help me cook anyways.
    They also help with the bathrooms. pick up the living room and their own bedroom. :) yep. i put them to work early! lol

    Answer by outstandingLove at 11:59 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • My 4 year old helps me do all that you listed. I don't EXPECT him to do any of it but he does help and is more than capable of helping with everything.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 12:00 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My 6yo will do some sweeping, vaccuming and mopping, but he's not really good at it yet. My 11 yo is capable of doing dishes and some cooking, and probably some laundry, but I've never asked him to do any, our machines are a pain in the butt to get too until we finish renovating our laundry room. But they can and do help out in other ways too. Even my 3 yo is expected to clean up his toys, put his dirty clothes in the hamper (with prompting), and carry his plate and cup to the kitchen. My older boys put away their own folded laundry, and put their dishes in the dishwasher. They do have other chores, inside and out that they are expected to do.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 12:00 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • yea. cleaning the floors and putting away their own folded clean laundry. they do that too.

    They do LOVE to help me but i also expect them to do it a certain extent. I made a chore chart and give them a sticker for each completed chore. when they fill the row they get a dollar in their money jar. if they dont do the chore, fine, but they dont get a sticker either. i'm teaching multiple things.
    The only chore they dont get money for is cleaning their room. That is expected of them. As they get older there will be more chores that are expected without pay ...but there will also be more chores that will pay.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 12:06 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My ten year old can sweep. dust. vaccuum, wipe down the surfaces in his bathroom and clean the toilet, and rinse his dishes to put in the dishwasher. He can make his own breakfast and lunch as long as it's nothing too complicated or messy.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:20 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My 3yo helps around the house. Besides cleaning her room and cleaning up after herself (dishes in the sink, wipe off table where she ate, clean up spills she made) she helps empty the dishwasher and put plastic dishes away, helps fold her own laundry, dusts, etc.
    My 9yo and almost 8yo son learned to do their laundry a few weeks ago and now do it without help. They also help their 6yo sister do hers (they turn the machines on for her, she loads them). They fold and put away their own laundry.
    They each have a day to empty the dishwasher on their own. We haven't gotten to them loading it yet. They sweep, mop with the swiffer, dust, clean up messes. They can all make their own breakfast and lunch (actually the 3yo can make her own sandwiches, too). They are allowed to use the toaster and microwave but not the stove. Since they were 3 I've been teaching them to take care of themselves. They won't be children forever.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 9:15 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Well my 9,5 and 3 yr old are expected to clean their rooms and keep their toys out of other rooms in the house and my 9 yr old like to vacuum but only does it once in a while. My 9 yr old helps me make lunch but only sandwiches nothing else my kids probably won't have to cook until they are old enough to stay at home alone so about 14ish.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:51 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • certainly by 5

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:58 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My son has helped pick up his toys since he was able to about 18 months. We gradually went from there. He still cant really get folding clothes but he is plenty old enough to do it. He helps me with plastic dishes and baby bottles now. he is seven. Um i started him taking out bathroom trash at 6 he was picking up dirty laundry around 3 he started wiping off the table and setting it at 5. we add a few things each school year he does alot but lately not too much since we are staying with bfs mom. She doesnt like for me to let him do certain things cuz she has certain ways she wants them done but when we get out he will be back to doing his little chore chart.

    Answer by SaturnsMom at 3:55 PM on Sep. 21, 2009