Why Chores Are Absolutely Essential to Your Child’s Development
If you are an American parent following trends, you probably don’t require your children to do chores even though your parents expected it of you AND you think that children who do chores regularly fare better in life skills.
According to a national survey released by Braun Research in 2014, 82% of 1,001 parents said they had chores as children. A significant 75% responded that regular chores at home made kids “more responsible” and 63% said chores teach our children “valuable life lessons.” But here’s the kicker, only 28% of them required their own children to do chores.
I agree with the 75%. Chores are essential for raising a child into a capable, independent, successful, and happy adult. If you are struggling in this area, here’s how you can start getting on board with chores in your home:
- Make a list of all the chores and tasks that you and your partner do on a daily and weekly basis.
- Circle the ones your children can do (if you have more than one child, you may have to put the letter of the child’s first name that is old enough to do that chore).
- Star the ones you need to train them to do.
- Create a 7-day calendar for each child and distribute the chores among the days on each calendar with considerations for their after-school activities and homework. Distribute as reasonably as you feel.
- Have a family meeting (more on that in a future blog post). Inform the family of the new distribution of household responsibilities.
- Post the calendars and tell your children that, starting today, the chores posted need to be complete BEFORE bedtime (or dinner or whatever time you determine) each day. Ask them if they have questions and let them know that you will train them this first week on the chores they do not know how to do.
- The first week you can “remind” them by asking if they have any questions about how to do the chores. But, other than that and beyond the first week, relax. Do not remind them.
- Make a mental note if a chore is not done by your child. When he or she wants something, you can simply answer with a no and explain that they did not do their chores. Therefore they will not get what they want in the present. For example, your response can be, “because you did not do your chores on Tuesday; therefore, you will not go to Jenny’s house to play. Instead, you are going to help me with some of the things I normally do because I did your job for you.”
In a few weeks, everyone should be on a new routine, and your children will be happier and on their way to becoming happy, independent people in a tidy home!