As a dad, you eventually want to teach your children about responsibility, character-building, and the value of hard work.

One effective way to instill these qualities is by assigning chores to your kids. Not only do chores teach important life skills, but they also create opportunities for bonding and personal growth with each other.

Is it Fair to Make Kids do Chores?

Some parents may question the fairness of making their kids do chores, believing that childhood should be a time of carefree play rather than responsibility. However, assigning chores is not about burdening children but rather providing them with valuable life lessons.

Chores teach kids about accountability, teamwork, and the satisfaction of contributing to the family unit. By involving children in household tasks, you are teaching them skills they will carry with them into adulthood, preparing them for independence and success (plus, it also helps keep your house in order).

What Age Should Kids Be Given Chores?

The appropriate age to start assigning chores to children may vary depending on their individual capabilities and maturity. However, even young children can participate in age-appropriate tasks that contribute to the overall functioning of the household.

Toddlers as young as two or three can be encouraged to tidy up their toys or help with simple tasks like filling a pet’s water bowl. Even if you as the father end up doing most of the work, the fact that the child has ‘helped’ teaches them valuable skills and lessons.

As children grow older, they can take on more responsibility and engage in chores that align with their age and abilities, and chores which they can do independently.  I know plenty of teens who have no chores or responsibilities and just think they should be entitled to everything.  They won’t grow up knowing that you must earn your keep and not expect handouts. Even some adults I know act entitled and often seek handouts for their own self gain. Sorry, it’s just not how it works.

Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids

Assigning age-appropriate chores to children allows them to develop important skills while also feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Here are some ideas for chores that kids can do at different stages of their development:

Toddlers (2-3 years)

  • Tidying up toys after playtime
  • Putting dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Helping set the table (with supervision)
  • Assisting with simple tasks in the kitchen, such as stirring ingredients or loading their plastic plates and cutlery into the dishwasher

Preschoolers (4-5 years)

  • Making their bed without supervision
  • Clearing the table after meals
  • Dusting
  • Watering plants or helping with light gardening tasks
  • Care for family’s pets with feeding food and water

School-age Children (6-9 years)

  • Make themselves snacks and breakfast
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Clean their bedrooms with minimal supervision
  • Taking care of pets, such as feeding and grooming
  • Vacuum

Middle Schoolers (10-13 years)

  • Take trash to garbage can and to curb
  • Babysit younger siblings with parent at home
  • Able to use washer and dryer
  • Prepare easy meals without assistance
  • Wash the car

High Schoolers (14+)

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Babysit younger siblings independently (short periods)
  • Clean the toilet, sink and shower
  • Make more complex meals
  • Help with running errands (after receiving license)

The Benefits of Chores for Kids

Assigning chores to children offers numerous benefits that go beyond simply getting the housework done.

Here are some reasons why making kids do chores is advantageous:

They Build Life Skills

    Chores provide an opportunity for children to learn essential life skills. Tasks like cooking, cleaning, and organizing teach children how to take care of themselves and their environment. These skills are not often taught in schools, making it crucial for parents to instill them at home.

    Teaching Responsibility and Self-Reliance

    Assigning regular chores to children instills a sense of responsibility. When kids understand that their contributions directly impact the well-being of the family, they develop a sense of ownership and self-reliance. By completing their assigned tasks, children learn that they play an important role in the household.


    Chores provide an opportunity for children to learn about teamwork and cooperation. Being part of a family unit means working together towards a common goal. By participating in household tasks, kids learn to collaborate, communicate, and contribute to the overall functioning of the family.

    Reinforcing Respect

    Assigning chores helps children develop respect for their surroundings and the efforts of others. When kids are responsible for cleaning up after themselves, they become more aware of the messes they create, and the work required to maintain a clean and organized environment.

    Developing a Strong Work Ethic

    Engaging in chores from a young age helps children develop a strong work ethic. By completing tasks and receiving recognition or rewards, kids learn the value of hard work and perseverance. This work ethic can translate into academic success and future career achievements.

    Improving Planning and Time Management Skills

    Juggling schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and chores helps children develop valuable planning and time management skills. By learning to prioritize and allocate their time effectively, kids gain valuable skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

    Creating Bonding Opportunities

    Chores provide an opportunity for parents and children to bond. Working together on tasks can foster open communication, shared experiences, and a sense of accomplishment. Chores can become moments of connection and quality time, strengthening the parent-child relationship.

    How to track the chores?

    There are several ways you can do this now. Some being the old school way with a physical chore chart, or you can go digital. There are many apps out there that do this but in a sea of so many, how do you choose? In my research, these are the top ones I would consider you look into:

    Chores & Allowance Bot


    Privilege Points Chore Tracker


    There are also apps that combine chores with financial independence in the form of getting their own debit card.  Each one of these has its own features, some similar and some better than the other. The two major ones are.

    Go Henry


    Should You Pay Children to Do Chores?

    Paying children to do chores is a topic that has sparked debate among parents and experts. With my kids being 6 and almost 8, they expect to be paid for brushing their teeth or getting dressed. You essentially must explain the difference between a chore and daily self-care. My youngest said “If I take a shower, can I get a dollar”. Um no, that is a part of hygiene, not a chore.

    While some argue that it teaches children about the value of money and the concept of earning, others believe that it undermines the idea of contributing to the family and instilling a sense of responsibility.

    Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

    Pros of Paying Children for Chores:

    • Financial Education: Paying children for chores can help them learn about money management, saving, and the value of earning.
    • Motivation: It can serve as an incentive for children to complete their chores diligently and on time.

    Cons of Paying Children for Chores:

    • Family Contribution: Some believe that chores are a part of contributing to the family and should not be tied to monetary compensation.
    • Sense of Responsibility: Paying for chores might undermine the development of a sense of responsibility and accountability in children.

    Alternative Approaches:

    • Allowance: Providing children with a regular allowance not tied to specific chores can help them learn money management without directly linking it to household tasks.  I personally am not a fan of an allowance, at least not at this age of my kids.  I want them to start learning the purpose and value of doing chores and not have an “open” policy of doing something here and there. You need to establish a base before venturing out into the open.
    • Rotating Chores: Implementing a system where each family member is responsible for different chores on a rotating basis can instill a sense of shared responsibility without monetary incentives.
    • Points: Instead of physical money, you can run it as a point system. So, each chore is a certain set of points. They can accumulate and then cash those points in for things like gift cards, cash, treats, etc. Some of the apps above have a points system you can set up.

    It’s important to consider the values and lessons you want to teach to your children while finding a balance between teaching financial responsibility and fostering a sense of contribution and accountability within the family.


    Assigning chores to kids is not about burdening them with unnecessary responsibilities but rather about teaching them valuable life skills, fostering independence, and building character.

    By involving children in household tasks, parents provide them with opportunities for personal growth, teamwork, and a sense of accomplishment.

    So, embrace the idea of making your kids do chores, and watch them develop into responsible, capable, and confident individuals. Or at least that is what hope will happen.