As our children get older, it’s time for them to begin learning household tasks. Not only is this as a help to the family, but it also fosters independence within the child.
While we’ve been teaching them skills and independence since they were little people, the pre-teen years are more training years than the years prior. It’s time to step it up a notch and really teach some life skills.
By learning these home keeping tasks, they will be able to contribute to the family in a larger way. They also are learning skills that will help them as they enter adulthood. The easiest way to teach a skill, in my opinion, is to “teach beside.” In order to learn the correct method of doing a task, it must be shown to them.
Our method of “teach beside” is simple:
1. Do the task, showing the child how it is done. While doing the task, explain how you do it and why you do it this way.
2. Watch the child do the task, gently pointing out any errors.
3. Let the child do the task, check their work when completed.
4. The task now belongs to the child.
One very important thing to remember is to not go back and re-do a task that the child has completed after step 4. This not only doesn’t teach them their error, it undermines their confidence.
There are a variety of chores that a pre-teen can be taught and have as their responsibility. This list is by no means exhaustive. You can certainly add more, given your child’s abilities, your child’s age, your family needs, and the chores necessary to be completed in your home.
Checklist of chores:
Wash, fold, and put away laundry
Set and clear the table for meals
Wash/dry the dishes
Take out the trash
Watch/entertain younger siblings
Make their bed
Keep their room tidy
We’ve included a free printable for you. Add to it as needed.
What chores are your older children responsible for in your home?
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