The Importance of Chores for Kids

The Importance of Chores for KidsMost adults grew up doing chores but only 28% of kids today do chores, according to a Braun Research study. What happened to chores? Perhaps parents don’t realize the importance of chores for kids and aren’t sure how to implement age-appropriate responsibilities.

Why Chores for Kids are Important

If just getting some help around the house isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of chores for kids, get this: one study showed that the leading indicator of children growing into adults with meaningful personal relationships, a completed education and having a solid career is having done chores as a child. And a Harvard Grant study that has been ongoing for nearly 80 years links work ethic among the crucial contributors to being a stable adult. That’s some pretty strong evidence!

The Lessons Kids Learn from Chores

There’s a lot to be learned by doing chores. Of course your child might learn a skill, such as washing dishes or folding laundry. But there’s more to it than that. Children learn a sense of responsibility by doing chores.

You are a family unit and things in your home must get done. They might be unpleasant, time-consuming, gross, boring, and many other negative things but they must be done and someone in your home has to do them. Much of life fits into this same category so it’s a good idea to teach your kids this type of responsibility early.

Additionally, kids learn time-management by doing chores. When something is a daily or weekly responsibility, kids will learn to prioritize it in order to move along to more enjoyable activities. This essential executive function skill will serve them well throughout life.

Plus they are contributing as a valuable part of your family team. While they may hate their chores at the time, there will eventually be a sense of accomplishment for having helped out.

How to Implement Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids

Assigning chores can start earlier than you think. The first step is ensuring your kids, even babies, help clean up their toys and belongings. Some babies and toddlers love the idea of collecting items and enjoy clean-up time. Others don’t care for it at all. But this initial responsibility for their own belongings is an important step in instituting chores for kids.

Kids can usually handle meaningful chores by around three years of age. Before then, involve your little ones in household responsibilities through observation and other small ways to lend a hand. For example, your toddler may be playing while you fold laundry, mop the floors or unload the dishwasher, but she will take notice of these jobs around the house. Seeing you do chores is the first step to understanding that there’s a lot of hard work to be done to run a household.

Starting at age three you can come up with small ways to involve your kids in chores, such as clearing the table after meals, pulling clothes out of the dryer and helping in the yard with things like raking leaves or pulling weeds. As your child grows, so can their responsibilities. Washing dishes, setting the table, collecting trash from waste baskets around the house, mowing the lawn and similar tasks are all ways your kids can help out around the house.

Chores shouldn’t take hours every day, but 10-20 minutes of housework will help establish a sense of responsibility, contribution to the household and work ethic that will serve your child well into adulthood.

Source: SheKnows