Chores: A Child’s Perspective

Last Sunday I interviewed several kids in my group, asking them specifically about the chores they do in their homes. Here is a brief listing of each child’s gender, age and specific chores as indicated by them. When I asked them how they benefitted from doing chores (particularly cleaning), they came up with four main benefits:

1. Learn responsibility.
2. Learn how to use money (I infer from this that some of them are paid an allowance, but I didn’t think to ask specifically.).
3. Stay healthy by cleaning away germs.
4. Keep things clean so they do not get embarrassed if someone shows up unannounced.

Four year old boy: No chores

Five year old girl: No chores

Six year old boy: Clean room, wash dishes, put away dirty clothes.

Seven year old boy: sometimes wash dishes, sometimes help mow lawn, feed dogs, take dogs outside.

Seven year old girl: pull weeds, feed cats and dogs, clean litter box

Nine year old girl: clean room, feed dogs

Ten year old girl: clean room, dishes

Ten year old girl: clean after dog, mow lawn, fold clothes, water plants, clean room

Ten year old girl: wash car, make bed

Key observations:

1. First, these are chores which the kids listed about themselves. Obviously there may be additional chores. It is also possible that some might have embellished their roles just a bit.

2. I do notice a greater degree of responsibility with older kids.

3. I did not detect any bad attitudes about chores. I found this to be quite interesting, frankly. I kind of expected a few sighs, but none occurred, to their credit.

4. I perceived a sense of satisfaction in some of the kids, as if they realized they are growing up, and chores is a part of that process.

5. It occurred to me to follow up on this session in the future with encouragement that doing their chores is a key way they can contribute to their families. It helps parents. It helps siblings. It helps the entire family.


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