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When I realised my 7 yo is capable of so much more

I had been prioritizing scheduled learning time and playtime over household chores all this while. The predictability and rhythm of routinized household chores and the accomplishment of seemingly mundane tasks and its contribution to household equanimity were hitherto unexplored for me. It was only during lockdown 2020, thaI realized that my 7-year-old is perfectly capable of so much more from loading the washing machine to putting the clothes to dry, to folding laundry, to picking things off the floor and even mopping and fixing meals like sandwiches and pizza… the list is quite long. This is not to say that she does all of these things every day, but she can do them quite well. I am putting together a list of household chores for children aged 7-10 here. You would have come across these lists before, but they have been for people in countries where house help is not so common. Now with most Indians facing the same issue, I think we may have become even more inventive than our western counterparts.

7 to 10-year olds

I have added some additional notes about my daughter, from my own experience in the last 4 months.

  1. Wake up on their own with an alarm – this needs training and motivation. Not something my 7-year-old is doing yet.
  2. Bathe younger siblings – This my 7 yo loves. This doubles up as play-time. They carry along some toys that need washing.  
  3. Wash dishes – this is just her own plate, katori and spoon as of now but can be extended soon.
  4. Load and unload the dishwasher – this can be a favourite chore at least in homes where the dishwasher has just arrived 😊
  5. Fix salads, sandwiches, pizza etc – this can either involve all the chopping and grating too or just the fixing and layering.
  6. Bake cookies, muffins – this my 7yo does from start to finish and it is her most favourite activity. I just have to go in later to clean up. And with experience, the clean up required has also reduced quite a bit.
  7. Making tea / coffee – something children enjoy especially if there are guests, because of all the added attention.
  8. Help find the right recipe for a cake or any special meal – Again something my daughter loves.
  9. Load the washing machine and run it
  10. Help hang out clothes – another family activity that everyone does together especially now that the clothes stand is inside the house, due to the rains
  11. Fold laundry and put away the clothes in the right closets – this is not challenging anymore and hence the motivation is quite low.
  12. Fill bottles of water
  13. Change bed sheets, pillow covers and cushion covers – the first time my 7yo changed the bedsheet I was shocked. I hadn’t asked her to. It was one of her happy productive days and she just did it. I wouldn’t have imagined this to be in the list otherwise.
  14. Read to younger siblings – works so beautifully and its really not a chore. It’s a special moment for everyone.
  15. Mop using a spin mop – this is reserved for days when there hasn’t been much physical activity and she volunteers.
  16. Clean book shelves, racks – once in a fortnight kind of activity that we do together.
  17. Clean the toy room
  18. Dust their own table and chair, the piano etc.
  19. Feed pets
  20. Pack their own school bag

Author

veena.devadiga@gmail.com

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