The following is a staff post from Crystal Stemberger of Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, a personal finance blog about saving for the future, paying the bills, and budgeting in a ton of fun along the way.
I remember doing quite a few chores as a growing kid. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those age appropriate chores probably helped form the values like responsibility that I have today. Here is a quick look on what chores may be helpful for each age group.
The first chore I remember being asked to do was to pick up my own toys. I eventually figured out that they were easier to find when I knew where they’d be. The next chore that comes to mind was placing my used clothes into the dirty clothes hamper. I remember my mom explaining that your clothes last longer when the dogs can’t get to them. My last small child chore was to water the potted plants, and I enjoyed making sure our pretty flowers didn’t die.
All of these were easy things to do but seemed like huge accomplishments to me when I started doing them without being asked. Looking back, my parents were simply pushing me to lay a foundation of responsibility.
As I got older and learned the difference between our plants and random growth, I learned to weed properly for the first time. Then came the jobs I rather have avoided like picking up dog poop before my dad mowed. I was also asked to take the trash from the full cans to the main trashcan in the backyard. Finally, I was expected to clean up my own room on a weekly basis. I’ll be honest…I still stink at this one.
All of these chores were less fun than the first ones, but I did learn that some things have to be done whether you like it or not. Isn’t that the definition of responsibility and the beginnings of maturity?
The chores I was given during my teenage years taught me life basics that I ended up using when I moved out on my own. I learned how to properly do laundry and mop a floor. My dad happily handed over the reigns of the lawn mower. My mom took advantage of my driver’s license and started sending me out for groceries. Those responsibilities are necessary in my own household. Well, except for lawn mowing. I am so thankful that apartments do not have lawns and that I make enough to pay someone else to do it now.
Through it all, I look back and realize that my parents took my maturity into account. Even easy chores like dusting can lead to broken items if a young child hasn’t learned to control their own strength. In the end, every child can be taught responsibility if given age appropriate chores. Then they will be more prepared for life as an adult, which is a true blessing. The saddest thing I saw in college were young adults that had no idea what responsibility was or how to handle it.
What other age appropriate chores can you think of?