Want to Help Your Child Grow into a Successful Adult? Start with Chores.
I think we all can agree on the fact that we want our kids to grow up to become successful adults, right? In fact, we spend most of our time as parents helping them do just this through any number of ways. However, did you know that chores rank at the top of the list? That’s right! Research suggests children who perform regular chores are more likely to become successful adults.
You may be asking yourself, “How is that possible?” Well, first, chores teach kids responsibility that drives a strong work ethic. A child may not always want to do chores, but they learn that they are ultimately the person that needs to get the job done, even if it’s something they don’t really want to do. Second, it teaches a child self-reliance. Allowing a child to perform a chore on their own and without our constant involvement teaches them that they are completely capable of completing the job. Lastly, chores teach kids time management skills and delayed gratification. For example, if they can’t go outside to play UNTIL their chore is completed they learn the importance of prioritizing work that needs to be done first.
Now, you may be thinking, “Easier said than done." Fair enough! Having your child perform chores AND perform them without a battle can definitely be challenging. Below are a few tips to set you and your child up for success:
Introduce chores to your child as early as possible. Remember, completing chores is a learned behavior. The sooner we can start, the easier it becomes getting them to complete the chores. They grow up having a sense of responsibility, as well as an understanding that chores are the expectation.
Start small. Introduce one chore at a time. Allow them to master it before adding on additional chores.
Make it age appropriate. It’s important to understand what your child, based on their age, is capable of performing. KidStrong University is an excellent resource and has a chore chart for all of our ages (12 months - 8 years). For example, our little ones can help put away their toys at the end of the day or put dirty clothes in the hamper. Our older kids can make their bed each morning, set the table for dinner, or take out the trash.
Provide options. There is power in providing your child with options. For example, you can ask your child if they would like to set the table for dinner or clear it after dinner. This helps your child feel a sense of control and part of the decision making process, increasing the likelihood of completing the chore without a battle.
Do not expect perfection and do not re-do the work they completed. Consider the message you would be sending if they saw you re-do their work. Remember the overall goal here! We are simply helping them learn important life skills, such as responsibility and self reliance. So resist the urge to fix the “folded laundry” or the “made bed”. Embrace their effort!
What chores does your child perform regularly? What has helped them do these chores without a battle? We’d love to hear from you! Start the conversation and comment below.