Why do I keep harping on giving children jobs? Because believe it or not, children need to feel USEFUL. In fact, all people have to feel as though they are being helpful and making a contribution. When a person participates and does a job or gives of their time and talents it creates a sense of affiliation and belonging that is the sticky glue that pulls a group together. Since the urbanization of society, children have been asked to do less and less for the family. No more collecting the eggs or milking the cows. Today’s children are often nothing more than inert tumors on the family! They only experience take take take with out any of the lovely benefits that come from GIVING back in. Children who have responsibilities to the family develop a sense of their importance, belonging and their self -esteem grows as their competencies grow. So check it out. How are your kids doing?
Here is the check list thanks to Marion Balla of the Adlerian Counselling Centre in Ottawa Canada.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR A PRE-SCHOOLER
- Pick up toys after use and put them in the proper place.
- Put books and magazines in a rack/shelf.
- Clean up what they drop after eating.
- Make a choice between two foods for breakfast (learn to make simple decisions).
- Toilet training.
- Simple hygiene – brush teeth, wash and dry hands and brush hair.
- Undress self – get dressed with some help. Choose their own outfit.
- Clear own place at the table.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR A KINDER CHILD
- Help to set the dinner table.
- Help put the groceries away (lower shelves).
- Help with compiling a grocery list.
- Follow a schedule for feeding pets.
- Help make their bed.
- Dress themselves.
- Help to clear the table.
- Make a simple dessert (add topping to cupcakes, jello, pour the toppings on ice cream, etc.)
- Put laundry in the hamper.
- Empty their backpack (agenda, lunchbox).
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GRADE ONE
- Empty garbage into larger bin.
- Make own sandwich or simple breakfast and clean up afterwards.
- Set the dinner table.
- Clear the table.
- Make bed and clean room.
- Dress on own and choose weather-appropriate outfit for the day.
- Separate clothing for washing, eg. put white clothes in one separate pile and coloured in another.
- Fold clean clothes and put them away.
- Care for pets.
- Water plants.
- Help to pack lunches.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GRADE TWO
- Get own breakfast.
- Take phone messages and write them down.
- Weeding under supervision. Help out with yard work.
- Take out the garbage. Take out recycling.
- Carry in the grocery bags.
- Get up in the morning with an alarm clock.
- Leave the bathroom in order: hang up clean towels, tube back on toothpaste, etc..
- Wash dishes and/or rinse and place in dishwasher.
- Use microwave/toaster.
- Sweep/dust non-breakable/precious items.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GRADE THREE
- Make lunches and healthy snacks.
- Distribute laundry and put away own clothes.
- Prepare a menu and write a grocery list.
- Run own bath water and follow bedtime routine.
- Help others with their work around the house when asked.
- Shop for and select own clothing and shoes with parents.
- Clean up animal “messes” in the yard and house.
- ‘Babysit’ for short periods of time with adults present.
- Take responsibility for organizing equipment for extracurriculars, eg. soccer cleats, violin, etc.
- Help write simple letters/e-mails.
- Load and unload the dishwasher.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GRADE FOUR
- Change sheets on the bed and put dirty sheets in the hamper.
- Operate the washer and/or dryer.
- Make breakfast for self and younger siblings.
- Cross streets unassisted.
- Check mailbox.
- Peel vegetables, help with meal prep.
- Get everyone’s drinks for dinner.
- Fold and put away laundry (ie sheets).
- Wipe down counters.
- Rake leaves/shovel snow.
- Collect and take out garbage.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GRADE FIVE
- Scrub pots/pans.
- Clean the kitchen.
- Pack own suitcase.
- Take on a paper route, with some adult help.
- Borrow and return books to library (keep track of due dates).
- Take responsibility for school work and organizing work to meet homework deadlines.
- Clean car.
- Take pets for a walk.
- Clean sinks.
- Bring the empty garbage cans in from the curb.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GRADE SIX
- Put younger siblings to bed and help dress them.
- Make simple meals.
- Clean refrigerator.
- Full responsibility for paper route.
- Help to organize closets (transitions between summer/winter closets)
- Clean bathrooms.
- Clean toilets.
- Help with shoveling and work outdoors.
HOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL/HIGH SCHOOL
- Discuss bedtimes and curfews with parents. Determine based on mutual parent-child discussion and agreement.
- Complete responsibility of preparing certain family meals. Make meal once/week.
- Clean the garage.
- Babysit younger siblings & help with homework.
- Mow the lawn, shovel the driveway.
- Locate and accept part-time jobs i.e. shoveling snow, mowing lawns, retail, etc.
- Run errands for the family, especially if they have their license.
- Help grocery shop.
- Paint gates/decks, etc.