Should children do chores? Research says, yes!
Involving their children in household chores is ideal for many parents who dream of seeing their children spontaneously clear their plates, make their beds, or put away their laundry.
Beyond the help provided, we now know that our children’s participation in the household’s daily chores is beneficial for their development.
We have all undoubtedly heard it said that it is good for our children to collaborate on household chores.
So here we tell you why and how you should introduce them to household chores.
Collaborating on household chores is fundamental learning for our children.
They will thus develop the capacity to be independent.
Yes! Something as routine and basic as being responsible for certain chores can make your children more confident, independent, and able to achieve their goals.
Indeed, experts recognize that it is very beneficial for our children to help at home – of course, with tasks suited to their ages and abilities.
Doing household chores help kids feel competent and builds their self-esteem.
Research suggests that performing chores in early elementary (primary) school is associated with later development of self-competence and self-efficacy (Source: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics )
Knowing that they can complete their chores brings the satisfaction of contributing to the family and a feeling of competence.
It will, therefore, also help build children’s self-esteem and confidence.
It is essential to choose tasks suited to the child’s age and personal attributes.
We need to focus on actions that the child can do. The idea is that, in addition to collaborating with the family, the child feels stimulated and fulfilled.
If we give a very young child a task that they cannot complete, they will become frustrated, lose confidence in themselves, and not want to try again.
The adult’s patience must accompany the whole process of incorporating the child into the household’s tasks.
Performing chores is associated with the development of pro-social behavior.
Researchers have found that kids who perform household tasks tend to show less antisocial behavior.
Completing chores promotes independence.
Being independent should be one of the goals of children’s education.
We want to raise children who can cope with life’s challenges without necessarily depending on anyone other than themselves.
It is critical is to help children understand that they have a role in running the house and that parents cannot (and shouldn’t) do everything.
Some research suggests that kids responsible for household tasks report a higher degree of autonomy than those without such duties.
Chores help kids develop essential life skills.
Household chores help our children develop several skills.
They teach them to accept responsibilities, set goals, and acquire specific motor skills. They can also learn time management skills.
Fortunately, from an early age, children are very interested in play that imitates adult household activities: kitchen, household or DIY toys, caring for a baby doll, and so on. The children imagine doing everything like Mom and Dad, doing “as the grown-ups do.” So we can provide them with toy dishes, toy vacuum cleaners, toy tools and encourage their innate desire to replicate what they see at home.
Even preschoolers can do simple chores like putting away toys or putting used clothes in the laundry basket.
At the end of this post, you can download a couple of chore charts that will help you plan household tasks with your kids.
Household tasks and the development of a sense of responsibility, effort, and discipline
Assigning household responsibility that your child can’t decline or hand on to somebody else helps them acquire a sense of the effort and discipline that will serve them well later. It also allows them to understand that tasks are part of the daily life of adults and children.
Teamwork Skills: A sense of collaboration and belonging
Involving our children in household chores also strengthens their sense of belonging and spirit of collaboration.
Collaborating in the tasks helps the child understand that it is everyone’s obligation to contribute to the common good. Not just the parents’ obligation. The satisfaction of helping the rest of the family will be a reward for your child.
Take their age into account when assigning household chores. Before the age of three, children already understand that they have specific responsibilities, including their toys. Even if they need your help to tidy up their room and put away everything lying on the floor, they will quickly understand how it works and then do it alone.
And, don’t forget that for your little one, helping you with housework is an opportunity to have a good time with you and to strengthen the bond of attachment that unites you.
Indeed, an ethnographic study investigating children’s contribution to household work reported that motivation to help parents included enjoyment and reciprocity.
It is essential to instill a sense of pride and highlight their role and contribution to the family unit and avoid the perception of chores as burdens or punishment – so don’t assign chores as punishment!
House rules are important, and chores may be a part of it.
Family routines (tasks and regular chores for all the members) are part of the “house rules.”
House rules provide structure and predictability, and improve family dynamics and coexistence.
Knowing how to keep the house tidy and respect hygiene is important. It is a question of establishing elementary rules of coexistence to be able, in the future, to have their own home.
Tip: If your offspring did not decide on their own at the beginning of the year, among their good resolutions, to clear the table, do not worry. You can suggest that they start by taking advantage of vacation periods. Without the fatigue or stress of a day at school, there will be less feeling that the activity is taking up their free time, and you will have more time to do things together.
So, should kids have chores?
Delegating household work to our children is not just a way for parents to alleviate their workload.
Research suggests that giving children age-appropriate tasks benefits their cognitive, social, academic, and emotional development. It also contributes to the acquisition of essential life skills and brings structure to their lives.
In other words, they contribute significantly to the success of your child.
Dr. Marty Rossman determined that the best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20s was that they participated in household tasks at the age of three or four.
Don’t wait too late to start your kids on chores. Another of the conclusions was that those who did not begin to participate until they were 15 or 16 were less successful (Highlights on Rossmann work from the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota)
And, don’t forget to download your free chore charts for kids at the end of this post!
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