Doing chores around the house was, for many of us moms, just a normal and everyday part of our upbringing. But as time has moved on, there has been increasing backlash against making our children do chores, and instead we should just be focused on letting our “kids be kids”.
Research shows that in fact many of us have been heading that advice.
In a study commissioned by the home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool, just 28% of over 1,000 adults surveyed said that they regularly assigned their children chores, despite 82% of them grew up doing chores themselves.
However, chores offer up many benefits for our kids which should not be overlooked. With that in mind I’ve created a list of 5 of the important reasons why it’s good to give your children chores to do around the house.
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Chores Teach Valuable Life Skills
While your children may be young now they won’t be forever. Chores are a perfect opportunity to teach your kids some valuable life skills which will stand them in good stead for the future.
Things like laundry, cooking and putting together a family budget are all skills that they will need to have when they eventually leave the family home. What is more, some of these skills are not taught in any great detail at school, so the only place they can learn them is at home.
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Chores Help to Increase Responsibility and Accountability
Enforcing chores that require more than one child to complete helps children to hold each other accountable and increases empathy and teamwork in the process. If one child lets the team (family) down, they will quickly learn the consequences for not pulling their weight.
It’s often better to learn these lessons at home rather than in more unforgiving environments such as at school or in a work environment where the punishments will be much more severe.
Chores Increases Respect Levels
For most of us, it didn’t dawn on us until we left the family household how much our parents actually did for us and our kids are no different. By making them get involved with the household chores it increases a child’s awareness of what goes into making a well-kept household.
Chores also build self-awareness, if a child makes a mess or spreads their toys as far as the eye can see, making them clean up after themselves will develop their understanding of the amount of work that goes into cleaning up after them, and they may become more respectful in their activities moving forward.
They Help to Build a Strong Work Ethic
A University of Minnesota 20-year study found that the best predictor of success in adult life was based on whether they had begun doing chores at an early age.
Chores for kids are usually completed for a reward. By rewarding children for hard work, you are already demonstrating to them the value of a strong work ethic. This may also encourage them to get a part-time job outside of the household when they are old enough to earn themselves some pocket money.
Chores Help Develop Family Bonds
With our increasingly busy schedules, spending quality time with our children can be very restricted. Doing chores together can be a great way to become closer to your children whilst teaching them important life lessons.
This time spent together may also provide a chance for younger teenagers to open up about any problems they may be having at school or with their friendship group. Opening up at that age can be difficult for a young adult and having some alone time might help them talk about issues that they feel they can’t raise when other family members are around.
Putting my Son to work
So there you have it, 5 really important reasons why chores are genuinely beneficial for your children. I like to give my son important tasks to help out with around the house for many of the reasons above.
For example, I find it can be really fun to have him help me with the dishes or the laundry, and I’m sure we become closer as a result. It helps me make up for the fact that I am at work for most of the week and so my time with him is limited.
What is your experience when it comes to giving your children chores to do around the house? Do you find that it has helped them to develop a wide range of personal and life skills?
Let me know in the comments below!