2 Key Benefits of Giving Your Kids Chores
We’ve all said it.
We’ve all commented on the free labor having kids provides your household. And to some extent, it’s true. But by the time they are old enough to do things like mow the lawn and dust what we don’t talk about is all the time and energy we mamas have put in to cleaning up toys, doing laundry (I HATE folding tiny little pieces of clothing that seem to go on forever…and ever…and ever) and bathing our little labor force. Even as I type this I am surrounded by stuffed animals and books that I need to clean up. And there is a load of little girl laundry waiting to be folded. But what I found while researching this blog post surprised me.
See, there isn’t just a practical benefit to teaching your kids to navigate the world of chores, there are emotional and development benefits to it as well. Specifically, there are 2 key benefits of giving your kids chores. And the good news, you can start teaching your kids about chores as young as two!!
Benefit # 1
I can’t tell you how many friends I made my freshman year at college who had no idea how to do things like laundry or clean a bathroom. It was shocking because I had grown up in a home were contributing to the family through chores was a part of life. I had no idea it wasn’t always the norm in other households. I don’t think any of us want our kids to go away to school and suddenly realize they have no idea how to care for themselves.
For my husband and I, we’ve made it a priority that all our kids will know how to cook a couple of meals, do their own laundry and clean a bathroom before they leave the protection of our home. But there is an emotional benefit to this as well. When we teach our kids the importance of chores they feel a deeper connection to the home. When we give them age appropriate chores, we help set them up for success which gives them a sense of satisfaction when they are able to complete the task. Through chores, they learn the value of giving back (it feels good when mom and dad are grateful for their help) and it teaches them responsibility. These are the foundations for learning to care for themselves independently.
When we assign chores to our children, we are telling them what they do in the home and how they contribute, is valuable and appreciated. Kids wont always succeed in the areas we want them to. They’ll fail tests, miss the winning shot, crash our car. But we can teach them, through chores, that despite their mistakes and failures, what they do at home is still important. Chores at home build pillars of competency that our kiddos can fall back on. If we only focus on the schoolwork, the sportsmanship etc. we inadvertently teach them that is the only thing they do of value. When they fail in those areas, there isn’t any way to alleviate the frustration in failing by pointing out other areas (that ultimately I would argue are more important) they already succeed and feel good about.
Not Always an Easy Task
Chores are not easy. Assigning them and making sure they get done isn’t always easy. They aren’t going to go perfectly every time and (gasp) we wont always handle it perfectly. But the most important thing I’ve learned in being a parent so far is the importance of trying. I’m praying that even though I’ll get it wrong a time or two; my kids will look back and see the effort I put into helping them grow into well rounded adults. I’ve included a printable in today’s blog post. If you’re looking for a place to start hopefully it will help give you some ideas on assigning chores. The best thing to do is begin by thinking about what is important in your home, and go from there.
Do your kids already have chores? What kinds of ways do your kids help out around the house? As always, I’d love to hear from you!!