Independence – A Great Thing to Teach Your Kids!

This post is for busy moms who can’t find time to do everything for their families, although you want to! If you want your children to be organized for themselves and to help around the house, you’ve got to teach them the skills – even if you haven’t mastered them yourself. Here’s a list of suggested tasks or chores you can teach your children at various ages. Obviously children learn at different speeds but this is a guideline. The goal here is to delegate some chores to them early on and give them mini lessons in organizing. By 18, let them declare their independence!

At age … Teach them to…
Age 3-4
  • Clear their plate after meals
  • dress themselves
  • Match up socks when you’re folding wash
  • Put their toys away with a simple instruction such as “put all the  blocks in the red bin.”
Age 5-6
  • Join in a seasonal clean out like picking up leaves or  organizing the garage.
  • have a morning routine to get ready for school  (write it down in on an index card and place it in a strategic place)
  • set the table
  • put their clean laundry in their drawers
  • straighten their room
Age   7-10
  • clean their own rooms
  • help serve meals
  • bathe or shower themselves
  • decide which activities and sports they will join


Age   11-13
  • take on certain weekly chores like taking out the trash, doing the dishes, folding the wash, mowing the lawn, etc.
  • plan out how they will achieve goals like long term projects for school. (i.e. set interim deadlines on a calendar)


Age 14 – 18
  • babysit younger siblings
  • make a meal for the family
  • have a part-time job and budget their money
  • make important decisions about college and their future
Age 18 and older
  •  be an independent adult – at this point the “child” should be treated like a roommate with regard to sharing the household work load and contributing to the household budget.

 Have you tried any of these or others? Let me know.

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