Get Help: Assigning Homework to Children

When children begin to show that they can do things a little more independently, being little helpers makes them happy. When children have a positive experience with responsibility early on, it helps them get used to helping others and keeping their own rooms tidy!

Start early

Around two years of age, earlier for some and later for others, children can begin to help out by putting away their toys, feeding a pet, putting clothes in a basket, and putting things in neat piles. You know your child more than anyone, so you know what he or she is capable of. Many children, even in the early years, want to show that they “can do it” and like to feel like they are making a contribution to the family. Starting them early with small tasks will get them into the habit of having responsibilities.

Have fun

Housework doesn’t have to be scary, that’s for sure! You can turn on the music and dance with them while they do their work, set a timer and have a “run,” or anything else that can keep household chores from being too mundane. Of course, as they get older, this can be a bit more difficult to do, but little ones love to have fun collecting at first.

Be consistent

Always be consistent. If children know that they don’t always have to clean, or that you will do it for them, it can confuse them and cause them to take advantage of the situation. In parenting, consistency is key, especially when it comes to routines. Making household chores part of a routine will make it that much easier. Plus, being consistent with praise every time they make an effort (even if they don’t do it quite “right”) will also keep them motivated and feeling happy inside.

Appropriate age

There are many resources available that have age-appropriate to-do lists for children; however, you know your child’s abilities better than anyone! Different families also have different kinds of chores; some families have tasks related to pets, while others do not. One suggestion is that you can write down the tasks that you would like to have done and, depending on your child’s age, think about which ones he can do (or learn to do).

Make a graph

One idea about assigning homework to children is to have a rotation chart. If you have more than one child of different ages, this works well! When household chores are rotated, this means that some days one child will only have to put away dirty laundry, while the other will have to help with the toilets. This allows for variety and does not make all children do the same task over and over again. Nobody wants the “uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!” chores every day, right?

If you are thinking about assigning homework to your child, these suggestions may help. Many children look forward to doing them, especially when they are young.