I don’t remember when I picked up the habit of keeping my room clean and organized but from what my mom remembers it was early on in my life. Can you believe that she doesn’t recall having to tell me to pick up after myself? I actually enjoyed cleaning and organizing- I still do! As a mom of two, I’ve found myself caught between taking on all the tasks and just letting my kids “be kids” versus assigning them chores to help with according to their age and ability.
I recently asked my mom if I was actually any good at handling household chores as a child and she said, “No, not at first but I always involved and encouraged you to finish what you started. Believing in you helped you to believe in yourself…for chores and beyond.” Regardless of my age, if I wanted to help my mom she would give me the opportunity to do so. Whether I did the job right or wrong wasn’t her focus. She understood that was just a matter of time and practice. My mom’s goal was to provide me with the tools I would need for my personal development throughout my childhood and adult years.
Children as young as pre-school age can start taking on chores around the house with the supervision of an adult, of course. Now, remember- not every child is receptive to chores so you may have to try a little mom magic.
Here are some ideas:
-Help them create a Chore chart
-Set-up an Allowance/Rewards system
-Make it fun by creating a chores playlist, turning a chore into a game, providing them with their own kid-friendly cleaning supplies, etc.
How do Children Benefit from Chores?
1. What may seem as simple tasks or chores are actually the life skills that most schools do not teach but children will need to become independent and self-sufficient as they grow. Day to day chores such as setting the table, doing the dishes, and wiping down the kitchen counters, just to name a few, are some of the many ways children learn how to be responsible and hold themselves accountable of their own mess.
2. Chores give children a boost of confidence. How you might ask? Having something to do from start to finish, whether on their own or with assistance, allows them to feel as though they matter, they make a difference and are capable. The same confidence they learn at home can be carried with them to school, workplace, and life overall.
3. Assigning chores to children is a great way for them to realize what it takes to keep the house running so smoothly and efficiently. Sure, they won’t really know ALL it takes until they are in our shoes later on in life but by starting them off early they will get a better sense of work.
4. When children are involved in doing chores they learn to respect and appreciate each family member more. They become more considerate of their own actions. Children also learn to appreciate the things they have and in turn, take care of them more. Having this perspective helps them to be caring human beings for not just their home but the world around them.
5. Household chores can affect a child’s work ethic both in school and later in their careers. Assigned chores help them learn about their responsibility and accountability as mentioned above but they also learn about time management, the cause, and effect of an incomplete or unattended chore, and priorities overall.
6. Chores can bring families closer together. When family members work as a team to take care of their home and help one another out they are bonding and creating memories. This helps to maintain a balance within the household where every family member feels valued.
Even the simplest tasks can teach your child a valuable lesson. Through chores, children learn that they are making a significant contribution to their family and household.