Monday, July 5, 2010

day 181: age appropriate chores—tweens (ages 12 & up)

As I was working on the PP 3*6*5 blog’s Table of Contents, I discovered that while I had written this post about age appropriate chores for tweens and teens, it never actually got posted. It looks as though we left off of that section with Age Appropriate Chores for ages ten and eleven. Sorry about that!

                                            TWEEN YEARS (AGE 12 and up)

All of the “Help” and “Chores on his Own” listed in yesterday’s post (early elementary, ages 10 & 11)

Note: Consider what you want your child to be able to do as a young teen and then later as an older teen/adult at this stage. Our goals were for our kids to be able to do much of what it would take to run a home, at least the skills that we have.**

Help—chores that the tween and young teen can help with

1. Change tire, add oil, put in anti-freeze, check tire pressure, etc.

2. Banking

3. Grocery shopping, menu planning, etc.

4. Monthly or seasonal cleaning and projects

5. Learn to wash blankets, sleeping bags, and other seldom-washed items

6. Learn stain removal tricks

7. Any remaining appliance/tool use you desire for him to learn. In the kitchen, this would include deep fryer, food processor, meat slicer, electric knife, etc. Other tools might include hedge trimmers, electric saw or drill, etc.

8. First aid, CPR, water lifesaving, and any other emergency skills you desire for your teen/preteen

Chores to Become His—those that can become the tween and young teen’s own chores after a while

1. Babysit up to a few children for longer periods of time. (Between age eleven and twelve, consider having your child take the Red Cross Babysitting Course, CPR training, and/or parenting/child care classes with you.***)

2. Larger food preparations, such as making a meal for family and someone else (especially girls); assigned meat preparations, such as frying twenty pounds of ground beef and freezing in freezer bags he labels, cooking ten pounds of chicken breasts in crock pot and cubing it for salads or casseroles, etc.

3. Using weed trimmer on his own during the spring and summer

4. Grilling meat for meals without help

5. Ability to cook with various mediums, such as crock pot, griddle, broiler, grill, etc. on his own

6. Ability to plan and prepare a full meal from start to finish (i.e. not be told, for example, to fix spaghetti but rather plan the meal and prepare it)

7. Ironing shirts for family

8. Clean appliances, including small appliances such as toaster or blender

9. Set up system and maintain it (i.e. family room bookcase or entire pantry)

10. Pack himself for trips

11. Changing and washing bedding

12. Mending buttons, rips, seams, and hems

13. Bake bread, biscuits, cakes, etc.

14. Defrost freezer

15. Serve guests

16. Clean stove and oven

17. Replace vacuum cleaner bags, light bulbs, and other misc household tasks (breaker and oil lamps when electricity goes out; etc.)

18. Start and maintain camp fire

19. Wash windows indoors and out

20. Pack lunches/unpack and clean out lunch bags

**My husband and I are not handy, “do-it-yourselfers.” Thus, our expectations for things like repair work and other “industrial skills” were not as high as say, our expectations for academics and skills that we could provide our children in our publishing company and family ministry (such as order taking, customer relations, writing, etc.). I have friends whose kids (who are our sons’ ages) can install furnaces, put up dry wall, cultivate large fields of land, weld, and much more. Our sons are not skilled in any of those areas. However, our sons can explain concepts, teach children, write and edit, organize and fill book orders, talk and interact with customers, and much more—things that perhaps my friends’ kids cannot do. Each family will have its own obvious emphasis, which is why our children were given to us, and not someone else. (And yes, sometimes I wish my kids could do some things that my friends’ kids can do, but I try to focus on what our family has been entrusted with.)

***Our older kids did all three of these around that time period (Red Cross Babysitting Certification, CPR certification, and child care/parenting courses. One of the latter was a parenting workshop that we went through together as a family, called Growing Kids God’s Way. Since we had a few little kids (and were planning/hoping to have more) and our older children were put in charge over them when we were away or busy, we wanted the older kids to take care of the littles in the same way that we did, with the same expectations, interaction, and boundaries (as much as possible; they are still, after all, children themselves). By going through this class together, they learned why we do the things we do. It also allowed us to discuss many parenting concepts that we might have otherwise not discussed.

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