Age-Appropriate Chores – A New Start to the New Year

The year 2016 has now come and gone, and we are well into the new year. The past year certainly was not a great year. As I complained to a friend this past week about the tragedies (some real, some in my own mind) of the year, I was reminded that it was not all bad. No, of course it was not all bad. There were many highlights. We experienced great times with friends and family, a handful of family adventures, and I continued to have the good fortune of being able to watch the girls reach more exciting milestones. One of those highlights and milestones was Riley turning five.

I had heard may times before from my mom that the odd years are always the best years. Having been through a trying first through fourth years, I hadn’t truly believed her. But, four months into the fifth year, I think she might actually be right. Suddenly, Riley has expressed an interest in helping out; temper tantrums have become short, manageable, and predictable; and she has started to play on her own. Don’t get me wrong. Riley has always been a sweet girl, but now the emotional turbulence of the twos (and threes and fours) has subsided and the sweetness is truly shining through.

In our state of ease, I have had a little more time for reflection, which is perfect for the New Year’s season. Since it is more fun to focus on others’ areas of growth than your own, I have decided to focus on an area of growth for Riley this year – chores. Yes, it is time to add some responsibility to this little girl’s routine.

As I sat down to think about what chores I was going to assign to her, I realized I had no idea where to start. There is so much to do! But what can you reasonably expect from a five-year-old? Needing an answer, I turned to the Internet. It turns out there are lots of things they can do and many of them she has already been doing, mostly because she finds them fun. Oh, to have a child’s love for chores.

I did find a couple that I knew we could be consistent about. I’ve included a more comprehensive list below for anyone else who is interested! For Riley, she will now be responsible for helping let out the dog each time we come home, helping me bring in and put away groceries, and for clearing her own plate from the table. She will also be expected to clean up the toys in her room. It’s a start and hopefully a start to lifelong responsibility.