8 Benefits of Giving Your Kids Chores
- Keren Kanyago Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2022 8 Feb
My three-year-old spotted me folding laundry and excitedly quipped, "Mom can I help you?" "No, honey, I am in a rush!" I replied instinctively. I knew what would happen if I accepted her offer. She would take her sweet time fiddling with the clothes, eventually forming them into pitiful lumps. Then I would have to go over them again and fold them.
Seeing that I was pressed for time, she would only serve to derail me. "Please, mom!" she coaxed. And then it dawned on me, here was my child all pumped up to learn and take on a chore, yet I was letting that moment slip through my fingers. So I decided to indulge her.
Let's face it; it often feels easier to do all the chores without involving the kids. The work gets done faster and to perfection. But think about it, what if nobody taught you the skills you now have? Wouldn't your life be a tad miserable? There are many benefits that kids derive from doing chores. Here are 8 of them.
1. Prepares Them for Life
A study published by the University of Minnesota showed that young adults who participated in household tasks from an early age (3-4 years) were more successful in life. This is a stark contrast to their peers, who started doing chores much later in life. As adults, the latter had trouble getting well-adjusted in life.
Therefore, kids need to get involved in house chores just as much as they need formal education and other basic needs. It helps lay a firm foundation for their future abilities. The Bible asks parents to train children in the way they should go. When they are old, they will not depart from these ways (Proverbs 22:6). Teaching your kids how to do chores is part of the training.
2. Increases Their Confidence and Self Esteem
How do you feel after acing an arduous task or project? Doesn't it make you walk a little taller, oozing with pride? That's the same feeling that sweeps over your child when they successfully tackle a chore. It makes them feel useful and needed. It validates them.
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, noted that there was nothing better than that a man should rejoice in His works. (Ecclesiastes 3: 22). During creation, God Himself looked upon what He had made and noted that it was good (Genesis 1:31).
Give your kids a chance to marvel at their work by assigning them chores. It gives their confidence and self-esteem a hefty boost.
3. Teaches Them Empathy
What happens when kids grow up being attended to round the clock, never having to lift a finger? You guessed right - they can become entitled and spoiled. They expect the world to serve them, with everyone at their beck and call. They never volunteer to help or serve others.
When kids start doing chores, they learn to put other people's needs above theirs. It helps them put things into perspective when they realize that the world doesn't revolve around them. They can learn how to serve others joyously and extend empathy in the long run.
4. Teaches Them Independence
Kids love savoring independence. It's the main reason they engage in power struggles and tantrums as toddlers. As they take on tasks, they get enthused when they realize that they can fix stuff on their own. This fuels their motivation and fosters self-reliance and independence.
You may notice that your preschooler no longer makes a fuss when they fall and get a little hurt. They don't need you to rescue them all the time. Your school-going child may be more eager to make new friends, unlike before. They feel more empowered to venture out on their own.
5. Makes Them Responsible
When kids realize that it takes effort and hard work to get things running, they become responsible, they stop taking things for granted. They now know that spills do not disappear miraculously from the floor. Someone has got to wipe them down. They, therefore, start acting responsibly and taking care of their belongings. They do not need you to prompt them to do their homework or pick up after themselves. They start making better choices.
6. Teaches Them Team-Work
As your kids tackle house chores, they will need to communicate with the rest of the family members constantly. They will also need to follow the rules and show respect. As they do this, they learn how to be good team players. For instance, when cleaning up their toys, your kids may decide to split the role between them. One may be tasked with putting away the smaller toys, as the other handles the bigger toys. This enhances unity and teamwork.
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1
7. Ingrains Strong Work Ethic
A good work ethic doesn't spring up on adults out of the blue. The foundation is laid when kids are young. Assigning chores to your kids helps them cultivate grit and tenacity. They learn how to put their shoulder to the wheel until a task is done and dusted. This sets them up for success in their future careers and generally in life.
8. Strengthens the Family Bond
Doing chores helps kids view themselves as significant contributors to the family. They feel more connected to the family because they are not merely onlookers. Your preschooler knows that she needs to help set the table before dinner; this helps her feel bonded to the family.
How to Get Your Kids into Doing Chores
Having explored the benefits of giving your kids chores, how do you take the plunge? Here are some tips to help you wean your kids into doing chores.
Child experts agree that kids should start doing chores after they hit two years. Yes, your happy-go-lucky two-year-old is eligible for tasks. They can, for instance, clean up their toys and sort clothes by color. The sooner you get them on board, the better for their future abilities.
Asking your 2-year-old to load the dishwasher may leave you with a trail of broken cutlery. It may also spark off a hissy fit due to the frustration of not being able to accomplish the task at hand. Always assign age-appropriate chores. Here are some examples:
2-3 Years Old:
- Cleaning up toys
- Wiping spills
- Sorting clothes
- Putting dirty laundry in the hamper
4-5 Years Old:
- Making bed
- Setting Table
- Feeding Pets
- Putting away groceries
6-8 Years Old:
- Preparing Snacks
- Vacuuming & mopping
- Washing dishes/loading dishwasher
- Taking out the trash
- Raking Leaves
9-12 Years Old:
- Helping cook
- Keeping own rooms clean
13 Years and Older:
- Baby Sitting
- Washing car
- Clean bathroom
- Clean Fridge
- Wash Windows
Lead by Example
Are you grumpy and irritable while going about your daily chores? Your kids may interpret that to mean that chores are burdensome and undesirable. As a result, they may look for every opportunity to dodge them. Don a cheerful attitude while going about your tasks and let it rub off on your kids.
It may take a while for your child to master a task. Be patient with them and assist them when they hit a snag. Don't expect perfection from the get-go.
We all relish a pat on the back for a job well done. Keep your kids motivated by praising them when they ace a task. Even when they don't do it to perfection, acknowledge their effort and applaud them. Ensuring your kids do their chores is an important step in equipping them for life. Years down the line, your kids will be grateful that you set them up for success.
Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
Are you in the trenches with your toddlers or teens? Read Rhonda's full article here!