Where do you stand on the chore list for children that’s dividing the internet?

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A list of chores for kids is dividing parents on the internet. (Photo: GALLO IMAGES/ GETTY IMAGES)
A list of chores for kids is dividing parents on the internet. (Photo: GALLO IMAGES/ GETTY IMAGES)

Cooking dinner, changing light bulbs, trimming hedges, ironing clothes . . . would you expect your tween to do these tasks? According to a controversial list that’s doing the rounds on social media, you should.

It’s never too soon to start getting your kids to help around the house, says Jennifer Flanders – and as the mother of 12 children, she really does need all the help she can get. On a blog she writes with her husband, Doug, she shared a list of chores that they expect their kids to carry out on a daily basis.

According to the list, even two- to three-year-olds should be pulling their weight by setting the table, fetching nappies and wipes and placing their dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

By the time they turn six, they should be able to weed the garden, peel potatoes and carrots and make a salad.

And by the age of 12, they should be able to supervise their younger siblings, mop floors, trim hedges, change a light bulb, cook a complete dinner and paint walls.

“Of course, every child is different, but most kids are capable of doing far more than parents require of them,” the American couple write on their website,

But it seems not all parents agree. The chore list caused heated debate recently when it was shared on social media with some critics arguing that it encourages moms and dads to treat their children like slaves.

“If the kids are doing all that then what are the parents doing?” asked one indignant parent.

“My husband doesn't do 99 percent of this list, why should my kids?” said another outraged contributor to the social media thread that recently went viral.

“Unpopular opinion but my kids are just kids. I was brought up in a household where I did these chores daily and HATED it. Not saying it's necessarily wrong but I absolutely cannot make my babies do something I resented as a child,” said another mother.

But others felt the list was completely reasonable.

“We did these jobs in my house when I was growing up,” a mom wrote. “I think it is fine and teaches kids how to live in the real world.”

“My boys can cook, clean, know how to help dye roots, change a light bulb, plumb a washing machine, and it started from the day they could walk,” another parent commented.

One mom wrote that she took a different approach. Instead of being raised to consider household tasks as “chores”, her sons were taught to consider it as just another important area of learning.

“I'm proud to have raised boys that know their way around the home,” she said.  “I didn't call it chores, it was called spending time, showing, learning and it was an absolute pleasure.”

Experts say chores should be carefully chosen to suit the child’s age and abilities – they shouldn’t be difficult or dangerous.

According to the list, kids should be washing and drying the dishes by the age of four. (Photo: GALLO IMAGES/ GETTY IMAGES)


Ages 2-3

  • Put toys in toy box
  • Stack books on shelf
  • Place dirty clothes in laundry hamper
  • Throw trash away
  • Carry firewood
  • Fold washcloths
  • Set the table
  • Fetch nappies & wipes
  • Dust baseboards

Ages 4-5

  • Feed pets
  • Wipe up spills
  • Put away toys
  • Make the bed
  • Straighten bedroom
  • Water houseplants
  • Sort clean silverware
  • Prepare simple snacks
  • Use hand-held vacuum
  • Clear kitchen table
  • Dry and put away dishes
  • Disinfect doorknobs

Ages 6-7

  • Gather trash
  • Fold towels
  • Dust
  • Mop floors
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Match clean socks
  • Weed garden
  • Rake leaves
  • Peel potatoes or carrots
  • Make salad
  • Replace toilet paper roll

Ages 8-9

  • Load dishwasher
  • Change light bulbs
  • Wash laundry
  •  Hang/fold clean clothes
  • Dust furniture
  • Spray off patio
  • Put groceries away
  • Scramble eggs
  • Bake cookies
  • Walk dogs
  • Sweep porches
  • Wipe off table

Ages 10-11

  • Clean bathrooms
  • Vacuum rugs
  • Clean countertops
  • Deep-clean kitchen
  • Prepare simple meal
  • Mow lawn
  • Bring in mail
  • Do simple mending (hems, buttons, etc.)
  • Sweep out garage

Ages 12 and up

  • Mop floors
  • Change overhead lights
  • Wash/vacuum car
  • Trim hedges
  • Paint walls
  • Shop for groceries with a list
  • Cook complete dinner
  • Bake bread or cake
  • Do simple home repairs
  • Wash windows
  • Iron clothes
  • Watch younger siblings


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