Kids should start doing chores at 18 months according to experts – here’s what they need to do and when

WITH the kids now at home permanently as the UK continues its lockdown, there’s never been a better time to get them doing chores. 

Even if you have very young children, experts have claimed youngsters can start helping out from 18-months-old. 

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Child development expert Dr Deborah Gilboa outlined the perfect age-appropriate jobs for children up until they’re 18, saying chores help produce “problem solvers of good character."

The mum told Today that her eight-year-old son has been taught how to the laundry, and was shocked to learn some university students still didn't know this essential skill.

18-months-old to three

Dr Deborah says parents should take advantage of a toddler’s ‘independence’ at this age, with kids eager to do things themselves. 

She says small children will often enjoy doing a ‘big kid’ task, but advises parents not to give them anything too hard, recommending something like holding the dust pan while you sweep.

Dr Deborah stressed never to give them a job which you'll need to redo if it doesn't go well, as this will only teach kids that it’s not worth trying to help out. 

Four to five-years-old

While kids are capable of doing some chores by themselves, they usually won’t remember to do it without being asked. 

The mum advised parents to ask their children to let them know when they’ve completed a chore, which helps remind them to get it done. 

Plus parents can easily check if it was done correctly. 

Six to eight-years-old

While it may seem like a young age, Dr Deborah advises giving kids a daily chore or task.

She said: “Once a week seems easier, but actually building habits is easier if something needs to get done every day. 

“So a repetitive kitchen chore or pet care can be a great choice.”


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Nine to 11-year-old

Dr Deborah says parents should really take advantage of their child’s problem solving skills as they get older.

She said: “These will take a while to learn, but are great for sharpening their planning and problem-solving skills as well as — eventually — taking something off your plate."

12 to 13-years-old

At this age it’s best to give them a job which connects to their life in some way.

For example Dr Deborah says if they’re a foodie, get them to prep veggies, wash up or cook dinner. 

Or if they need lifts to lots of activities, get them to clean the car. 

14 to 18-years-old

At this age they should be able to handle complex chores, such as cooking dinner for everyone once a week or helping out with bigger projects around the house. 

Dr Deborah adds this is the perfect age to delegate a task which you don’t like, pointing out some youngsters would have had paying jobs by this age.

16 to 18-year-old

By now your kids should be ready for adulthood, but these years are important to teach them key life skills. 

Dr Deborah says tasks such as paying bills and car maintenance should be taught in a relaxed way over the summer, noting every skill you teach them is “one less thing you have to do”.

Mums reckon the 30 day Lego challenge is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained during coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile this mum-of-seven shared the homeschooling regime she’s been doing for years and says 1-3 hours of study is more than enough.

And mums are sharing hilarious memes as they grapple with homeschooling their kids.

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