Young children desperately want to help – seize this opportunity to create a life time habit early, as the desire to help declines as children get older!
What do children gain from helping out with chores at home?
1. They learn the value of work. We are not born enjoying work- we have to learn the importance and satisfaction of it from experience. Hard work develops self discipline, focus and grit. These things correlate with success at school and in the workforce - more so than intelligence.
As the famous Thomas Edison quote goes
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”.
2. They appreciate more. When kids help with chores they start to appreciate the amount of work that it takes to keep the house tidy, bathroom clean, laundry up to date. They realise that someone has to do the dishes, cook meals and vacuum the floor. The realise that when you have washed the floor and someone walks in with muddy boots, it is frustrating. They start to appreciate you and your effort more. They develop respect for your home and belongings.
3. They learn to be responsible. If it is their responsibility to wash the dishes or feed the cat, children learn that others are relying on them and that there are consequences of letting them down. It doesn’t feel good, there will be no clean dishes etc.. They learn they are part of a team, and everyone needs to be relied on to do their share.
4. They learn important skills they will use throughout their lives. Children learn to do things through observing, modelling, practice and repetition. It is far easier to learn to chop vegetables, stack the dishwasher, use the washing machine or lawn mower when parents are around to teach them, than when they have left home. They also learn time management and planning.
Make it a fun, bonding time and DO NOT expect perfection at first.
What is your child capable of?
I loved this when I read it recently: If your children have mastered a video game, the tv remote or tablet, they should have no problems learning a few new chores!
Putting away toys.
Putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
Feeding a pet.
Washing dishes. HINT – start with plastic and cutlery!
Neatly stacking books and magazines
Making their bed
Keeping their room tidy
Setting and clearing the table
Wedding the garden
Watering house plants
Using a hand-held vacuum cleaner to pick up crumbs
Making their lunch.
Folding and putting away their laundry
Putting away groceries
Making their own snacks
Helping prepare family meals
Taking rubbish out
Ages 11 & Up
Changing bed sheets
Doing the laundry
Cooking a meal (with or without supervision, depending on their age)