Should Kids Have Chores To Do

Depending on what generation you were raised in, you may or may agree that kids should have chores to do. Growing up the youngest of 3 children in the 1970s, I had chores to do daily. There was no allowance, you respected the elders, and if your chores weren’t done you knew you weren’t going outside to play. Times were much less complicated then. Fast forward to 2019, and I am on my second round of parenting. My stepson is just learning to put dishes in the sink, put dirty clothes into the hamper, and pick up the toys in his room. The concept of chores is new to him. He has never been taught or expected to do them until now. Once my husband and I had the talk, we agreed, yes, our 8-year-old should know how to do laundry.

Should Kids Have Chores?

The increasing response to this question is actually quite surprising. For current parents grew up with assigned chores to do. According to a recent poll conducted by Braun Research and commissioned by Whirlpool, 82 percent of the American parents surveyed said they regularly did chores as kids, but only 28 percent give their own children chores now. (1)

The typical scenario we see is parents with their children scheduled so tightly with after school activities and sports. Once the families finally make it to the family home for the evening and homework begins, there often is not much time left over. Because of this, parents opt not to unnecessarily burden their children with the task of chores. However, there are increasing studies of thought around children learning time management when they have chores to do as kids. Should kids have chores? (2)

Could There Be Benefits To Chores?

There is an increasing school of thought building around chores actually being good for our kids. A University of Minnesota 20-year study found that the best predictor of adults’ success in their mid-twenties was based on if they had begun doing chores at an early age, as young as 3 or 4. When children learn the work ethic that goes along with doing chores, it sets them up to work.

The study found that when participants learned to do chores at an early age, it taught them the ability to pitch in and work as a team. This was found to support them in the workplace as they started entering the workforce later in life. Simply by teaching young kids that a chore could earn them a reward taught them the value of work. (3)

What Can You Teach Your Children With Chores?

Chores don’t have to be a punishment for your children. As a matter of fact, it can be a great learning tool for the entire family. Chores can be used to bring your family together into a working team and create communication and creativity. The time you spend together doing chores may be the only time you get to connect on a busy day. Here are some great ways that you can come together as a family and bond with your children through chores:

  • Teach responsibility
  • Teach discipline
  • Create opportunities for parents and children to bond
  • Teach work ethic
  • Teach teamwork
  • Create opportunities to fail and succeed in a safe environment
  • Teach problem-solving
  • Teach the value of contributing to the family
  • Create teachable moments
  • Teach purpose
  • Teach pride in their accomplishments

Teachable moments are one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. If you can ease your workload, have some family fun, and create memories at the same time, you have accomplished something you and your family will cherish forever.

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