Oftentimes, we ask ourselves, “Should we give our kids chores to do at home?” After all, it is our responsibility as parents to run the household, right? Our kids have to deal with their own activities at school. Isn’t it really fine to just let them be kids for now?
The truth is that kids who do chores gain life skills that will help them the rest of their lives. They learn to be responsible. Many families, especially Asian parents, make it a point to let their kids do chores.
The Benefits of Doing Household Chores
Parenting expert Jim Fay says we all yearn to feel love and needed. We need to know that we are making a contribution. “They (kids) can’t feel that way if they don’t have chores and make contributions to the family.”
Studies show household chores are beneficial to children. According to a Harvard study, the researchers concluded that children who did chores had a better life. Chores helped kids grow up to be happy, independent adults … who also enjoy good overall health.
Household chores make kids feel competent. When they are sweeping the floor, they feel a sense of accomplishment in helping out. They can feel capable doing even the simplest tasks at home.
What Are Age-Appropriate Chores?
Do not doubt your child’s capability to do one household chore. He was able to learn how to play a complicated video game. For sure, he can manage washing the dishes. The best thing you can do is to assign everyone with their own set of chores.
One important tip when assigning chores is to be very specific. Instead of telling your child, “Clean your room,” tell them:
- Sweep the floor
- Put the used clothes in the hamper
- Arrange your books
- Clean your desk, and so on
- Chores for Preschoolers
Preschoolers are already capable of picking up their toys and putting them inside the toy box. They can also put their dishes away. Since they can’t read yet, making a sticker chart helps. Assign color-coded stickers for every task you want them to accomplish. You can reward them with star stickers after each chore is accomplished.
Chores for School-Age Children
At this stage, you can tell your kids to put away their shoes once they arrive from school. You can also tell them to prepare their backpacks for school. It is important for you to teach them on how to do each task.
For example, if you assigned your child to his put away his shoes, tell him where to put them and how it should be done, i.e. shoes neatly in closet, socks in hamper. Don’t expect perfection at the first try. Continue to encourage and you will see improvement.
Chores for Teenagers
Chores will prepare teenagers for the real world. It is best to give them chores that will be helpful in adulthood such cooking dinner, doing their own laundry, mowing the lawn, or buying groceries. These tasks ensure that he will be capable on his own.
Giving teenagers monetary allowance will motivate them to do their best, but don’t pay in advance or give out any loans. They need to know they should complete a task first before getting a reward. That way, they will value every penny they will earn in the future.