Responsibilities for Young Children

Children want to take care of things and contribute to others. For that reason, we give them responsibilities at school and at home. First graders are at an age where they are ready to grow a great deal in their independence. Children should have responsibilities at home (and at school) that allow them to take care of themselves (self-help chores) as well as ways to contribute to the greater good of the family (contributing to others). Some ideas for these 2 types of chores are:

Self-Help Chores

  • Choosing and outfit and getting self dressed
  • Brush/comb hair
  • Brush teeth
  • Tidy the bedroom
  • Make the bed
  • Manage his/her own backpack and school folder.

Family Chores 

  • Help care for siblings and/or pets
  • Set the table and clear dishes
  • Help with kitchen tasks
  • Fold socks and help put away laundry
  • Dusting, sweeping, or basic cleaning tasks
  • Help with yard chores (Kids love raking and watering plants!)

Some Tips for Success

The goal is responsibility, not perfection. Your child is learning how to take responsibility for these tasks so there will be a learning curve. It's usually most effective to model the expected procedure and work alongside them. Try to avoid jumping in to do it yourself. 

Charts/accountability systems can provide structure and routine but avoid making the responsibilities overly "reward based." Some incentive can be effective but the ultimate goal is pride in taking care of one's self and contributing to the family. 

Choice can go a long way. If your child is hesitant or resistant to help at home, try to find ways to incorporate choice (ie. have them help generate the list of chores/ways they want to help, choose when in the day it gets accomplished, or allow them to choose the order they approach tasks) but ultimately, as the adults in their lives, we need to have high expectations and hold them accountable. First graders are VERY capable!

No comments:

Post a Comment