Is Your “Age-Appropriate” Chore Chart Setting the Bar Too Low?

We’ve all seen the charts for age-appropriate chores floating around the Internet, like this one:



 Now, keeping in mind that I’m 33 years old and I haven’t even done some of the things on this list (simple home repairs? wash car? I was raised in a city apartment, if that’s any excuse), I find this list very motivating.

In fact, why stop here? I can think of many more chores that I would like my kids to do for me do in order to instill critical life skills and a sense of responsibility. Let’s aim high, people. Disinfecting doorknobs, whatever that means, never got anyone into Harvard.

Here’s my revised version of the above list:

Age 1

(Why did that other chore chart only start at age 2? That’s a whole year of freeloading missed development!)

  • Swiffer. Attach Swiffer cloths to baby’s front and back. Go, baby, go! Do a good job and you get that banana puree thing in the pouch that I know you like.
  • Clean floor after meals. (This doubles as dessert.)
  • Simple roof repairs. I said simple! Like just reattaching a few shingles. What are you, a helicopter parent?

Ages 2-3

  • Teach Mommy French. This only involves a few Berlitz lessons and creating some worksheets. They can be done in crayon.
  • Prepare simple dinners for 4. Dessert can be cookies but the appetizers must be impressive. Baked chicken is okay, but not every night.
  • Teach baby how to do roofing. See above, “simple roof repairs.”

Ages 4-5

  • Prepare simple homeschool curriculum for younger siblings, emphasizing STEM and field trips. But only ones within the contiguous US!
  • Repair cracked screen on iPhone. Those little hands sure are dexterous.
  • Ghostwrite Mommy’s Babble articles. Make sure to read Babble weekly to maintain a sense of the style and tone.

Ages 6-7

  • Simple car repairs. Not body work, obviously.
  • Limited financial investing. Baby needs a bigger college fund. Only trade blue chip stocks, nothing complicated.
  • Replace windows with more energy efficient ones. Never too young to learn about the environment.

Ages 8-9

  • Re-side the house. Obviously, with help. From the manual.
  • Calculus tutoring at the local high school.
  • Mediate between siblings and engage in limited cognitive behavioral therapy of younger sibling’s phobia of roof.

Ages 10-11

  • Go on Shark Tank and pitch roofing/Calculus tutoring business.
  • Write op-ed for national newspaper.
  • Test home for mold.

Ages 12-13

  • Get newspaper column syndicated
  • Mold remediation of house
  • Start focusing on Shark Tank company. Hire other roofers.

Ages 13

  • Cash in massive college fund.
  • Enroll at Harvard.
  • In first essay assignment, discuss how chore chart got you to this pinnacle of achievement. Email home to Mommy.

There you have it.  Stop hindering your children with sticking to chore charts that don’t tap into their nascent potential.  Dream big, Mama!

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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