What comes to mind when you think about your children and chores? Do you think chores are important and that your children can benefit from assisting around the home? In this article, we outline the benefits of chores, how to get children involved in doing chores, and age-appropriate household chores to assign to them.
Little is expected of kids today. They might engage in after-school activities and as soon as they get home, they tend to ‘relax’.
They are more involved in watching TV, playing video games, and keeping up with friends through social media and text messages.
Does that sound like your children? When you think about your children and chores, what comes to mind? Are you excited about getting them involved? Are there any benefits of chores when done around the home? How can you get your children involved in performing age-appropriate household chores?
Why are Chores Important for Children to Do?
You might hold back from assigning your children chores because they already have their hands full with homework and school activities.
That’s understandable, but household chores can benefit your children. Consider the benefits of chores.
Chores Promote Unity in the Family
You’ve often heard that a “family that prays together, stays together”, right? The same applies when handling chores around the home. When you and your children work together for the greater good of the family, you’ll draw closer together.
Assigning your children chores show that you’re all working toward the same goal – drawing closer together as a family. Ask yourself: Does it merit my child to forge a bond with the chess club but lose all connection at home?
Chores Teach Your Children Humility
Do your children demand things at home? Do they feel entitled to any and everything they see?
You might have contributed to that attitude. When you assign your children chores, you’re teaching them to serve others, against demanding to be served.
With that attitude, they are more inclined to commit to community service and show willingness and initiative to come to the aid of others when they need help. If your children are served everything on a silver platter, they might become narcissists.
It can isolate them from others because they’ll likely treat their friends and colleagues as servants, instead of equals.
Chores Contribute to Their Maturity
Doing household chores influence your child’s maturity. In fact, being involved at home helps them to thrive at school.
It teaches self-discipline. They’ll be better able to manage their time properly and deal with difficult situations. This helps them to handle school and household chores and put them in their proper place. It allows them to be balanced and prioritize what’s really important – contributing to the development of their family.
Chores Give them a Sense of Purpose and Usefulness
Children want to feel useful. When their tiny hands are busy around the home, they get to contribute to building the family up and that makes them feel valuable and useful.
A child who doesn’t feel valuable and useful at home will question their reason for staying home as they get older. They’ll also try to fit in with peers at school and are more inclined to align themselves with gangs because they feel like a total stranger.
Chores Help Children Cultivate Sympathy and Appreciation
The best way to teach children how to appreciate what they have is to give them age-appropriate household chores.
They’ll also learn to sympathize with you and learn what’s involved in making a home. The dishes don’t do themselves and the floors don’t miraculously get clean.
It takes effort, time, and resources to do all these things around the home. When you ensure that they have a hand in keeping the home organized and clean, they’ll appreciate and understand the sacrifices and hard work you put in at home daily.
Chores Teach Children How to Be Responsible
When you assign your children age-appropriate household chores, you’re teaching them to be responsible. You won’t always be around to wash the dishes or set the table for them. They’ll have to assume that responsibility on their own, perhaps after leaving home.
If you don’t equip them with the skills needed to get it done, how will they know how to do it? As a child growing up, you likely learned how to do things around the home from your parents. Wouldn’t it be nice to pass on those skills to your children?
Children who know what working at home feels like are also less inclined to get in trouble. It is true, the Devil finds work for hands that idle.
Giving Your Children Chores to Do Is Good for You
There’s no need to stress how hard it is to maintain a home. Housework is never complete. There’s always laundry to do, dishes to wash, toys to put away, and the list is perpetual.
If you have to do all those things at home, whether as a mother or father, you could easily burnout and stress. Stress isn’t good for your health. It saps your joy and robs you of quality ‘me time’ and time that could be best spent with the family.
It’s not fun to watch every other member of your family have fun while you have to slave about doing chores. When you get your children involved with household chores, you’ll have less to do. You won’t always complain that you’re tired or have no time to do anything else.
Children and Chores: How to Get Them Involved at Home
If you haven’t already started assigning your children chores around the home, it’s not too late. Here are a few suggestions to try if you want your kids to see the benefits of chores and get involved at home.
- Start while your children are young
The best time to introduce chores to your children is when they are young. That way, they’ll get accustomed to working around the home as they grow. Is your child advanced or capable of doing chores at three years old? Could they start at two?
Young children beam with joy when they get to work alongside their parents.
- Make it age-appropriate
The appropriateness of the task is important. Do not assign your children tasks that are impossible for them to get done. Would you ask a three-year-old to wash the dishes or set a dinner table?
Let your reasonableness be known.
- Ensure that you prioritize getting chores done
When your children learn to strike a balance, they’ll be better able to commit to their assigned chores at home. It might be difficult for your child to get chores done around the home on days when they have a stockpile of homework, but it’s possible.
In most households, children spend the day engrossed in leisure activities after completing their homework. These leisure activities include watching TV, playing video games, lounging on social media, or chatting with friends over the phone.
Could you replace some of those leisure activities with chores? Instead of allowing them to sit all day before a video game or TV, could you help them see the importance of doing their chores first?
- Do not look for perfection. Consider the objective of assigning your children chores
When you assign age-appropriate household chores, do not look out for stellar results. Sure, you want them to appreciate why it’s important to get their chores done properly, but as they grow, they’ll get better at doing things at home.
Instead of looking out for results, look at the ‘why’ behind the work. Why are they being assigned chores? How do they benefit from chores?
Also, if you realize that your child is not doing the job as you’d like, do not take over their task. Allow them to see it through. “Practice makes perfect.” The more they work at it, the better they’ll become.
There’s much joy to be had when children work around the home without being scrutinized or criticized. Allow them to experience such joy.
- Focus on the intangible benefits of chores, not tangible ones
If you have to pay your children to get things done, that won’t necessarily teach them how to be responsible. It’ll only make them more relaxed and hesitant to help others if they aren’t benefiting monetarily. Your children will most likely focus on what they can get from the family, rather than what they can give.
Think about it. If your child is paid for every task done at home, what happens when you don’t have the extra cash to pay out on a particular day? Wouldn’t that child refuse to do things around the home and perhaps throw a major tantrum?
By rewarding your child, the benefits of chores would have been lost. It’s best to keep your children’s allowances and chores separate.
What are Some Chores for Kids to Do?
The chores you assign at home should vary. What you’d assign to a teen may not be appropriate for a pre-teen. While some chores might be appropriate for a particular age, you also have to be discerning and take into consideration your children’s circumstances.
Is your child struggling with a disability? When dealing with children with disability, it might not be appropriate to assign them chores at home based on their age. It’s best to give them what they can comfortably do or tasks that would not put a strain on them. Anything within their limitation is good.
On that note, here are some chores you can consider assigning to your kids:
- Putting away toys
- Taking out the trash
- Setting the table
- Clearing the table
- Feeding the pets at home
- Ironing laundry
- Keeping their rooms organized
- Putting laundry away
- Sweeping the floors
- Mopping the floors
- Put away their shoes
- Cleaning the face basin after using
- Putting the tissue on the roller
While that’s not the best list, it should provide some direction as to what you can assign your children at home. Remember, keep it age-appropriate for your children and they’ll grow to love helping out at home.
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