Are you weighing up the benefits of asking your child to start helping around the house? It can be hard to know what's right for your children, what chores they can handle, and, more importantly, what chores they're willing to do. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of chores for kids.
Related: Age-appropriate chore list for kids
When should kids start doing chores?
Only you know exactly when your kids are ready to start doing chores. However, there are usually some chores that children can handle from as young as six – or maybe even younger. Of course, the important thing is to pick chores that are age-appropriate.
When your child is young, they might be able to tidy away their toys and put their dirty clothes in the hamper. As your children get older and more confident with chores, they can help with more involved tasks, like helping with the dishes, setting the table, and putting away laundry. There are some chores that should only be handled by older children, for example, helping cook meals or taking out the trash, since these chores have a risk that younger children could get hurt.
You'll also need to think about how many chores to give your child. Too many chores might be overwhelming, especially if they have a lot of homework or after-school activities.
What are the pros of giving kids chores?
There are a lot of benefits to giving kids chores which can help set your kids up for adult life. Here are some of the pros:
- It gives your child a sense of pride and accomplishment, boosting their self-esteem.
- Teaches your child how to manage their time, especially if they want to get their chores done quickly to get back to playing.
- Chores build great life skills, such as cleaning, cooking, and managing a household. This is hugely important for kids of all ages.
- Your kid learns to take responsibility. They learn that if they don't do their chores, no one will.
- Even simple tasks like pairing up socks can help teach your child great problem-solving skills.
What are the cons of giving kids chores?
There can be some downsides to giving children chores. But as with anything, how you approach giving your child chores will make the following cons more or less likely:
- Children often get a lot of homework from school and can feel pressured to stay on top, leaving them stressed, especially when they also have chores. Talk to your child about their chores and work together to find a good balance.
- Kids can be clumsy. Chores can take a long time, and there's a risk that something might get broken. This shouldn't be cause for punishment. Instead, it can be a great time to teach your child about owning up to accidents and what to do when something goes wrong.
Should I pay my children an allowance for doing chores?
Rewards are one of the simplest ways to get your children to do chores. Not all rewards need to be financial. You could give your child other rewards, such as treats, a later bedtime, or more screen time. However, giving your child an allowance for chores can teach them the value of money and give them a sense of self-esteem to know they can earn money.
If you decide to give your child an allowance for doing chores, you'll also need to decide how much money to give as a reward. You can see what the average is for each chore by looking at our Youth Economy Report.
Make household chores easier with GoHenry
Managing your kid's chores is easy with the paid task feature on GoHenry. Parents can assign children a task on the app. Once it's done, and you confirm this, your kid gets reward money transferred straight onto their prepaid GoHenry kids' debit card. On top of money for completing chores, you can also set up weekly allowance transfers and send one-off payments. Plus, if your child helps out a family member or they've been extra good, relatives can easily send money straight to your child's GoHenry card as a treat.
If you're worried about how your child might spend their reward money, we've got you covered. Our in-app Money Missions have bite-sized lessons for every age and more advanced topics for kids ages 12+. These fun videos and quizzes teach your child about jobs & earnings, spending wisely, and saving habits. You can rest assured that your child will make good use of the money they earn doing chores.