Are Chores Good for Kids? Yes!
Kids and chores. Who knew it was such a controversial subject? I have learned people have polarizing views on the matter. Frankly I am of camp chore! Here is why I think chores are a positive enhancement to kids overall mindset.
9 Reasons I Make My Kids Help With Chores
Kids and chores have come up a lot recently during conversations with friends. I have had many engaging conversations about the pros and cons of chores and whether we should be having our young ones do them. Well, I am a firm believer of YES! I grew up always doing chores and, guess what, I didn’t get paid and my kids dont either!
I am of the mindset that chores are an essential part of growing up. Children should start doing them early on. One of the main purposes of parenting is to raise a self-sufficient adult. Giving your kids a little responsibility around the home is a great way to help them thrive in adulthood. And guess what…they dont need to get paid to do them!
Here are just a few of the reasons that kids need to be doing chores.
This is one of the most important benefits of chores. Have you ever dated the guy who did not pick up his plate or worse…does your husband leave his plate NEXT to the dishwasher (ah hem). Well, this may be a by-product of parents not enforcing chores! If you want your child to grow into a responsible adult, chores is a great way to do it! Giving them a task that is their own or an area of the house that they are in charge of keeping clean is a great way to help them be responsible later in life.
2. Teaches Valuable Life Skills
When kids start doing chores, they learn the important skills associated with running a home. If you start when they are young, it is more likely that it will become habit. This is something that is not taught in most schools, so it is even more essential that parents teach it at home.
3. Boosts Self Esteem
Kids gain confidence and self esteem when they are given chores that they are able to complete on their own. Praising them for their efforts will give them an even bigger boost. Having said that, I am also lax about things being done PERFECTLY. Think about it, if part of your son’s chores is to make his bed but you criticize him about how he made the bed, is he going to want to do it? NO! So you have to give a little in the perfectionism and praise them for doing the job.
Some really smart school studied this (I’ll give you a clue..it is in Boston) - Kids who were given chores became more independent adults. And ladies, isn’t that what we want? Aren’t we aiming to raise well adjuster, kind and independent adults? This is just one small thing we can do to help frame that for the future.
5. Learn Respect
A child cannot fully understand the work that goes into a particular chore until they have done it themselves. Think about it - if they see how annoying it is to pick up everyone’s shoes and put them away, maybe they will stop leaving them around! Or if they see how time consuming it can be to put away someone’s laundry, maybe they will appreciate the work we all do. It may not happen overnight and there may be some squabbling, but slowly but surely they will come to realize all the work that you put in.
6. Teaches Consequences
CONSEQUENCES! I am a huge fan of learning consequences (to be addressed in a later blog). But, when kids start doing some chores they start learning more clearly why you get so upset when you just clean teh floors and they spill apple sauce. Or you are folding laundry and someone rolls into your piles (ARG - such a pet peeve!). If you give the kids one of the chores they frequently destroy, they will soon learn that their actions can have consequences.
7. Opportunity To Learn About Money
Okay okay I know I said I dont pay them for chores and I do not! But, there are occasions that I make chores a game and challenge them with a reward of $1 to whomever finishes the task first. This creates a bit of healthy competition, makes them whine less and gives my kids the opportunity to earn a little pocket money each week. Not only does this teach them about the value of money, but I also make them use this money to put towards things like school store or buying snacks at camp.
8. Keeps Them Busy
Now, I am certainly not saying that we should fill all of your kids free time with chores. But this is a great way to give them something to do and keep them active and busy. This is an especially great way to keep your kids active when you are stuck indoors. I try to keep it fun and make games out of the process. Recently we started implementing trick shots into the chore routine. Like, when picking up the stuffed animals off the floor, I have them show me their best trick shots to get them to the top bunk. This way, they associate it with something fun and it lessens the moaning and groaning.
9. Lightens The Load
Admittedly, this hasn’t happened to me yet. But I have to believe that once kids start taking on some of the household tasks, it lightens up the load for the parents. Take advantage of your kids natural willingness to help and get them started early. This will give you more free time to spend with them doing fun things together as a family.
So as you can see, there is a lot to be said for giving kids chores around the home. It is important that they understand that everyone needs to contribute and are not simply entitled to every want and need.
I would love to know what your thoughts are on chores. Which side of the debate are you on? At what age do you start to get your kids involved around the home?