If you’ve got a couple of kiddos running around your house, chances are it’s a bit harder for you than it is for your friends without kids to keep the house looking spic and span at all times. Luckily, if your kids are old enough to locate their toy bin, you can usually have them help out with chores. But, the benefits won’t just be a tidier house.
Kids who grew up doing chores around the house are more confident, self-assured, and responsible later in life. So, asking your kids to do a set list of chores each week or each day, like making their beds and cleaning their rooms, or helping to take out the garbage, can actually contribute to making them more successful adults.
Teach a Work Ethic
Chores are the easiest way to instill a work ethic in your kids at a young age. If you decide to give your children an allowance when they’re old enough, without making them work a bit for the money—even if it’s just a few bucks—you’re missing an opportunity to teach them a lesson about the value of their time and money, and how to have a good work ethic.
Earning their allowance rather than simply being given their allowance will make your kids more aware of the idea of working for their money. They may spend it less haphazardly if they were working to earn a certain amount to save up for a toy. If money is just handed over at the end of the week, your kids might start to take the presence of money for granted.
Start with a chore wheel or a list of tasks that your kids need to do each week; if, at the end of the week, they successfully completed each task, dole out that allowance money. If they forgot to take out the trash, but still kept their playroom clean, doc a few bucks from their pay and explain that completing the chore list and contributing is what gets them that Friday payday.
According to VeryWell.com, having your kids do chores around the house will leave them feeling accomplished, because they contributed to the household. That sense of accomplishment is an important factor in raising a child, especially when the pressures of school and social lives can be tough to handle, even from a young age. Allowing your kids to take part in the household chores gives them something to make them part of the team, leaving them more self-assured and confident in other situations.
So much in our childhoods is outside of our control, and that’s a tough concept for many kids to grasp; but when they are in control of their own toys and are invested in certain chores around the house, they’ll feel grounded, useful, and self-assured.
Doing chores around the house isn’t about making things perfect; it’s about getting the job done. Participation in household chores will teach your kids to be resourceful, and how to manage time.
For example, if your child needs to clean the playroom one afternoon, but doesn’t want to miss their TV show, encourage your child to clean up during commercial breaks or before the show comes on. Having a goal-oriented task can force your child to problem solve, be resourceful, and manage their time.
Prepare for Adulthood
It might seem like a silly concept: your 7-year-old doesn’t have to worry about being a grown-up just yet, right? But in fact, ThirtyHandMadeDays.com says chores will help your kids by preparing them for adulthood—simply by showing them how to do household chores.
As your kids get older and take on more responsibility, they’ll learn the skills they need for running their own successful household as adults. For example, you may dust before vacuuming so that any errant dust gets picked up, and use bleach products in the bathroom. Your kids will notice these things, and carry them into their own homes when they move out someday. Plus, asking your children for help with the laundry will make learning how to do their own when they’re off to college that much easier.
PBS says the key to instilling all of these things in our children so that they can have a successful life is to start while they are young; while toddlers may not be able to grab the vacuum cleaner out of the closet and go to town on the living room, encouraging them to keep their space neat and tidy, and contributing to other chores, like clearing plates and cups after a meal, will get them on the right track. As soon as your kids are old enough to start to understand a rewards system, use stickers or an allowance to help keep them goal-oriented on completing their weekly tasks.
When your kids are in their teenage years, they can contribute a lot more, like by being responsible for bringing in the mail, taking out the trash, and even doing their own laundry.
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