Delegating Tasks to the Kids

delegating tasks

Are the kids home for the summer? Does this mean that you are overwhelmed with keeping them busy?

Consider delegating tasks to them for more responsibility this summer. Have them pitch in around the house and/or take more responsibility for themselves. Identify 3 to-do’s that you can delegate to each child. Take some time teaching them how to do each task. Make it fun. The biggest job for you is to get them on board and make sure they follow through all summer.

Here are some ideas:

  • Feed the pets.
  • Make the family grocery list.
  • Vacuum the main rooms of the house.
  • Pack their own suitcase for vacation.
  • Read to their younger siblings.
  • Water plants.
  • Do their own laundry.
  • Empty the dishwasher.
  • Set the table for dinner.

As you can see, some of these are one-time tasks. Some tasks will have to be done with some regularity. I think it’s a good idea to mix and match. Above all, make sure that you are pick delegating tasks that are age-appropriate. So they don’t get overwhelmed. You will not only lighten your load this summer, but you will also teach your children responsibility.

Are the kids home for the summer? Does this mean that you are overwhelmed with keeping them busy? Consider delegating tasks to them for more responsibility this summer. Click To Tweet

Need more suggestions?

Similarly, here are 10 Chores Your Pre-Schooler Can Do and 10 Chores Your 5-Year Old Can Do


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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on June 7, 2021 at 9:18 am

    I remember a friend talking about teaching her daughter to empty the trashcans in the home. She laughed at this tiny girl dragging around a giant trash bag all over the place. It’s a great visual! Kids can do more than we think, right? Why not get them involved and give them some concrete skills in the process. Plus, it makes them feel vital to the working of the household!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      I totally agree with you Seana. Giving kids chores that they can do teaches confidence and responsibility.

  2. Melissa Gratias on June 7, 2021 at 10:06 am

    The best way I found to handle this was to create a “Summer Screen Rules” document with the kids every May. We would sit down and figure out what they need to do each day BEFORE looking at any screen. There were things like: be active for 30 minutes, do something creative for 30 minutes, organize something in your room, shower (!), etc. It was usually about half a day of activities. Once they finished their list, they were allowed to melt their brains in front of a screen for the rest of the day. It kept me out of the “hall monitor” role so I could work. They are older teenagers now and don’t need the screen rules, but I still look back on those Word docs with a bit of nostalgia…

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      That’s a great idea Melissa. You taught them some time management skills that will help them throughout life.

  3. Linda Samuels on June 7, 2021 at 10:57 am

    The photo of the pillow fight is precious! It’s so much fun, but I wouldn’t want to clean it up. 🙂 As I read your post, I remembered how my mom would delegate “chores” to the three of us. But I also remember how I was the only one of my siblings that would actually do them. I liked having a checklist and accomplishing things even when I was little—my brother and sister, I guess not so much. I remember them promising to “get to it” but never doing it. 🙂

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:11 pm

      Your story shows that everyone is different. My kids were so different when dealing with chores, but as long as they got them done I was OK with it.

  4. Stacey Agin Murray on June 7, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I have a year-round ‘chore chart’ for my kids–the two of them switch chores every other week. I display it in a plastic frame in our kitchen so everyone can see who has which job. This has made my life as a parent much easier!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      That’s great because everyone in the family knows what the expectation is. No one is surprised by the assigned chores.

  5. Sabrina Quairoli on June 7, 2021 at 11:29 am

    I agree chores should be delegated to age-appropriate children. However, not all kids can handle all the tasks either; finding a list online that gives suggestions then reviewing them with your kids and what they have done so far may help determine what other tasks they can do to help. I recently wrote a post about age appropriate tasks. You would be surprised at home many tasks kids can do at a young age. Thanks for sharing this great reminder.

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      I think people should ask their children what chores they want to do. Kids can do anything they can think up. You can also look at what chores kids perform at school. You’d be surprised.

  6. Diane N Quintana on June 7, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    It’s important to give children chores – age-appropriate chores. They learn that taking care of their home is just part of living and they learn great life-skills in the process. When children grow up doing chores they know how to schedule their own chores as young adults when they get their own place. Great post, Janet!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:25 pm

      We called chores “life lessons” in our house. As you said, chores teach children life skills.

  7. Melanie Summers on June 7, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    I am a HUGE advocate for creating capable kids. Like Seana said, kids are more capable than we think. It is a service we do for our kids to show them we trust them to be independent and we value their contribution to family. Great ideas!!!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 7, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Yes, sharing the house chores make everyone feel that they are part of the team. It’s part of parenting to teach our kids these life skills.

  8. Jill Katz on June 8, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Teaching kids responsibility through chores is a biggie! Getting a dog during COVID has been a great excuse for getting the kids to walk, feed and care for the dog. Just as kids physically grow in the summer, the season can be a great time for mental growth too. Thanks for the reminder and list of ideas. To add- summer is a great time to teach teenagers to drive and use public transportation to get around.

  9. Janet Schiesl on June 8, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    I never thought of how getting a dog would increase the kid’s responsibility. Good idea.

  10. Julie Bestry on June 9, 2021 at 2:55 am

    Great advice; I think the best way to approach chores is with as little fanfare as possible, so kids learn to have an ownership mentality in the home space. If everyone has his or her area of responsibility, and a big deal isn’t made of doing it, kids are less likely to chafe. As an adult, I’m still best at the tasks that were my assigned chores in childhood because they don’t feel any more like labor than brushing one’s teeth or tying one’s shoes; it’s just what one does. (I kind of wish my mother had assigned me to water the plants as a kid; I’ve never managed to keep one alive!)

    • Janet Schiesl on June 9, 2021 at 7:41 am

      I agree Julie. If parents start early and doing chores is just part of family life then no big deal is made of this. The challenge is trying to implement chores for your kids when they are old and haven’t been responsible for anything in the house.

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