Age Appropriate Chores That Help Breed Self-Discipline

The following tasks, suitable for kids at various ages, help children learn to be more self-sufficient, cognizant of the work of daily life and more helpful to others. Psychologist Donna Genett, Ph.D., suggests these tasks and other useful tips in her Help Your Kids Get It Done Right at Home and at School! Workbook.


Putting away toys; basic self-care, such as brushing teeth with assistance, washing hands and undressing.

Self-care activities, such as getting dressed and putting away clothes; helping around the house, such as placing napkins at each place setting, helping to make their bed and keeping their room tidy.

Greater independence in self-care; making their bed and keeping their room tidy without help; helping to set and clear the table; helping to put away dishes.

Working toward complete self-care independence; increasing basic chores, such as setting the table, doing the dishes, cleaning their rooms, taking out the garbage, packing their lunches and simple yard care.

Doing chores that increase responsibility and independence: cleaning the house, mowing the lawn or shoveling snow; small jobs outside the home, such as babysitting or delivering newspapers.

Age Appropriate Tasks or Chores
1 to 2
2 to 3
3 to 6
6 to 12
12 to 16
16 to 18 Chores that prepare them for independent living, such as doing laundry and cooking meals, taking a job outside the home, and learning to manage a budget.

Excerpted with permission from Help Your Kids Get It Done Right at Home and at School! Workbook, by Donna M. Genett, Ph.D., Quill Driver Books, 2006, 800-497-4909,


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