Chores are just a reality of life. They make the home function smoothly, and some are pretty basic life skills that teach kids how to work.
If you are tempted to do too much for your kids, you are not properly preparing them for adulthood. But kids who are taught to do chores consistently will become self-disciplined and they are more likely to have a better work ethic.
Household chores are early preparation for grown-up life: having a job, being an adult, marriage, and even parenthood. If you’ve ever asked yourself if making your kids do chores is worth the effort on your part, the answer is YES. This is why chores are important:
Chores Build Self-Esteem.
When a child completes household duties, they begin to feel a sense of responsibility. Every time they finish a chore, it increases their inner belief that they CAN do it, that they are capable of succeeding in life. Simply put, completing chores fills a child with self-confidence that builds self-esteem.
Chores Teach Your Child to Work.
When your child is physically able, start teaching them to do chores, even as soon as 3-4 years old. A child who learns early in life how to work is more likely to be an effective employee and maybe even an entrepreneur some day.
Chores Help Your Child to Mature.
The more chores a child masters, the sooner they begin to make mature, responsible decisions. Doing chores helps a child to feel competent, and that helps them to feel responsible and believe in themselves. This all points to a child’s maturing process.
Chores Teach Your Kids About Time Management.
When encouraging your child to do chores, try a when you/then you approach. When you finish cleaning your room, then you can play video games for a 1/2 hour. This teaches them to develop self-reliance, and motivation to get the work done before they can play.
Perhaps you don’t need to be convinced about the importance of chores. Yet you still find getting kids to do them is a struggle. Here are a few suggestions to help your kids cooperate better.
Give Appreciation Vitamins.
In the book Simple Habits for Effective Parenting, the author suggests that parents give their kids appreciation vitamins.
Positive labels are especially important so after accomplishing a task a parent can easily say, “I appreciate you being a great helper or worker.”
Have a Schedule.
Kids do better when they know what to expect, so having a consistent chore schedule is important. Use a whiteboard, a chart on the fridge–whatever works best for your family, as long as it clearly lists chores and expectations.
Assign Less Chores During the Week.
Because kids are busy with school, sports, and homework, week-day chores should be less time-consuming. Allow more time on the weekend for bigger chores. Unfortunately, parents can either assign too many chores or too demanding chores, which negatively impacts a child’s emotional health.
Yes, You Can Do the Job Better.
A parent will almost always do the chore better and faster than a child. But perfection is not the priority. Having the cleanest bathroom or the neatest folded laundry is not the goal. Swallow your critical words and give that appreciation vitamin BEFORE you make gentle suggestions on improving the job.
Word side by side.
Weekends are a great time for the family to do chores together. Not only will chores be done more quickly, but a stronger emotional connection will also be built with family members as they work side by side. In addition, a child watches and learns from the parent on how to do a task well.
If chores in your home have been assigned rather randomly, I encourage you to be more intentional. Have a family meeting to discuss who’s responsible for what and introduce the chore chart that will track everyone’s tasks. Initiating a new standard may be a little extra work at the start, but it will eventually make your life less chaotic and in the end, your child will grow more responsible.
If you’d like help with parenting, please schedule a free phone call here.