Chores are an interesting topic for parents: on one hand, we are knee-deep in toys, dirty socks and discarded snack wrappers and know that our kids need to be doing more to help around the house. On the other hand, we recognize that actually getting kids to do their chores is exhausting! Any time you are debating whether or not the fight to enforce chores is worth it, consider these seven reasons why every kid should have chores.
Chores increase confidence
Whenever you teach a child a skill and they are able to master it, you add something to their self-confidence cup. One of the most valuable things that we can do as parents is to help our children to gain skills, receive constructive criticism, and learn how to complete a job. Chores will check all three of those boxes.
Chores lighten the load for mom and dad
Chores are something that generally go unnoticed by children. They just aren’t aware enough to notice that they have clean plates to eat from and clean clothes to wear. Until children are exposed to all of the different chores that go into keeping a house running, they will have no appreciation of all that their parents do for them.
Once kids chores become part of your children’s routine, they will be able to lighten the daily load of chores. When your kids are young it is hard to visualize this, but as your children grow and their capability to do chores increases, the load of housework will be distributed more evenly. As the old adage goes, “Many hands make light work.”
Chores teach time management
Children of all ages can learn to use their time better by having assigned chores. When your kids are toddlers and preschoolers, getting chores done before play will teach them about priorities. As kids get older and sports and homework are added, keeping chores as a necessary daily task will help them to plan their time in order to get everything necessary completed. They might not appreciate time management skills taught by chores now, but when they are in college and are able to keep a clean dorm room while managing a class load, work and friends they will recognize what a gift it was to have parents who insisted on chores when they were younger.
Chores help kids learn essential life skills
I had a friend in high school whose parents had a maid service do all of their house cleaning and I was so jealous! I realized that I was the lucky one when I heard how much she struggled in college to do simple things like her own laundry,
The chores that your children are learning are essential skills they will need throughout their life.
You could often do the chores better and faster by yourself. Recognize that chores are an opportunity to teach your child skills that will help them the rest of their lives.
Chores teach kids to take care of their belongings
Chores are an important way to teach children how to care for things properly. They will learn that putting their special toys away will prevent them from being broken. They will realize that proper laundering makes their favorite sweater last longer. Chores will instill the concept that when you take care of things you need and love, they will last longer.
Chores can help with money management skills
If you link an allowance to chores, it can be a wonderful way to teach your kids money management. We have our kids save a certain percentage, tithe a certain percentage and earmark some money for fun spending. Allowance can teach your kids the value of saving up your money for a big purchase. Allowance can also be a big incentive for kids (and teens!) to complete their chores every week.
Chores can help kids feel like an important part of your team
Chores mean that we are working together as a family towards a common goal. Anything I can do to encourage our kids to feel needed and important is a win to me.
My best advice after about 14 years of chores with kids? Implement chore responsibilities and then be vigilant about keeping them up. Kids will get past the complaining and recognize the value and JOY that comes from having a well-kept home.