At what age should kids start doing more chores around the house, and what should these be? I've been thinking about this because I think it is very very important that kids develop a sense of ownership, even pride, in their home and it's environs. I expect my kids to grow up making their own beds, clearing up after themselves (no flinging schoolbags and shoes randomly as soon as they get back from school!), keeping their rooms clean and in general helping mom and dad around the house. Because it's their house too, and they are not non-paying guests! Ads (and due to his influence, now Y) has always been very good about cleaning up his toys after playing, from a very early age. It was something I always insisted on and they both don't give me any grief over it. Now Ads is definitely old enough to shoulder some additional responsibility, other than keeping his room clean.
When he gets back home from school, he puts away his bag, keeps his lunch sack near the kitchen sink, puts away his shoes, undresses and throws the soiled uniform into the laundry basket and chooses his own clothes to wear after his bath (which he takes all by himself). He has also, most days, been folding his freshly-laundered clothes and putting them away. In the morning also, he takes a bath by himself and would dress himself except that we are in a tearing hurry at that point and can't wait for him to struggle with buttons and straps. At mealtimes, I expect him to put his plate/bowl away and get his own water. Note that technically, I don't even consider any of these as "chores" because he isn't doing anything out of the way but only managing himself and his possessions.
However, laying aside that semantic technicality, are there other easy chores that he can do? I can't ask him to lay the table because we hardly ever have a proper sit down dinner. S eats later than the three of us because by the time he gets home, the kids are usually at the end of their meal and I am just beginning mine. The mornings are too rushed for me to ask Ads to fix his own breakfast (though I could probably do this on weekends). He already makes me a cup of green tea on request :)
Blast - that's the problem with India - so many of the domestic services like cleaning, dusting, dishwashing and ironing are now outsourced!!! So, does anyone have any suggestions for this slave-driver of a mother? :) Or is he doing well for an almost-6 year old? Have any of you paid your kids (in cash or kind) for special tasks or even general chores?