Whether we admit it or not, most of us weren’t really that keen on doing chores when we were kids, but we did them anyway, especially when our parents promised us rewards if we got all our tasks done.
Now that most of us are parents ourselves, we’ve finally and fully realized how important it is for our children to do their share of the household chores, especially with various scientific studies confirming that kids doing chores are more likely to grow up to be successful adults.
KIDDIE CHORES MAKE FOR SUCCESSFUL AND HAPPY ADULTS
According to a study that the University of Minnesota ran for 20 years, doing chores from as early as three years old is the best predictor of their success in their mid-20s, where they have finished school, chosen a clear career path, and maintained healthy relationships with friends and family.
Even more telling research is the still-ongoing (since 1938!) Harvard Grant Study that says positive relationships and a good work ethic are significant contributors to a person’s happiness and stability as an adult. And what is one of the best ways to help a child develop positive relationships and a good work ethic? Having them do household chores, of course.
One of the most important things that doing chores can teach children is the sense of wanting to contribute. When they see everybody else at home doing their part, children will typically wonder how they can pitch in.
Nudge them in the right direction by explaining to them that everyone within a household has a role to play, then assigning them age-appropriate tasks. Do you still remember—even when you didn’t like chores—the feeling of having accomplished something when you’re done with your work assignment? Your kids will feel the same way too.
Chores can also instill a sense of responsibility in children. Making them do certain regular chores daily help them develop a mindset that these chores need to be done and that they are the ones responsible for doing them. When children have that mindset, they are developing a good work ethic in the process, which will do them a lot of good as they grow up.
Time management is a concept that so many adults find difficulty mastering. If grown-ups have a hard time managing their priorities, how well do you think would kids fare?
However, it’s never too early to teach kids how to manage their time. By assigning them chores (and with your guidance), children will eventually learn to figure out which things need to be completed first, and which ones can be put off for later. They will be able to discern the importance of any given chore, and therefore teach them how to prioritize.
Should you decide to give allowances to your children for doing chores, the actual act of assigning them household tasks is a step toward teaching them how to manage their money.
Making them work for an allowance is an excellent way of teaching them the concept of money, and that it doesn’t grow on trees. They will equate money with hard work, and that is a mindset that will come in handy when they grow up and make a living in the real world.
Allowances for chores will also teach them the idea of saving for the rainy days. You can encourage the younger ones to start a piggy bank, while you can help the older kids open their own bank accounts.
All the things that chores teach kids will serve them well when they enter adulthood. Let’s not deny them that kind of preparation for real life by just letting them do nothing but play videogames or whatever it is that kids do these days. Have your kids help with the chores, and you will be doing them a gigantic favor.