When I was growing up… dinosaurs did not roam the earth. But I did have chores. And I wasn’t paid to do them. Nope. We did them because we were expected to contribute to the household. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that as a parent it’s a bit harder for me to give my kids chores. When the house needs cleaning, I’d rather do it myself so it gets done faster and the way I like it.
However, I’ve quickly realized this just makes my kids a tad spoiled so that when I do ask them to help with something (oh, like cleaning up the mess they made in their bedroom) they throw a fit. So, yes I think kids need chores. Actually, as I sit here writing this my oldest is stomping around like I insulted her family back to Adam because I asked her to clean up the blankets we used for our sleepover in the living room last night. Lovely.
There are a ton of benefits to giving your kids chores, but these are my favorite:
You don’t have to do it: Granted you’ll probably have to micromanage at first, and you may even have to quietly go behind them and fix things up a bit, but over time you’ll have less to do around the house, which means less stress for you and more time you actually get to spend playing with your kids or reading a book.
Your kids learn how to work: I am all about preserving the innocence of childhood and letting my kids enjoy the endless days of summer and doing nothing. But, I also think sprinkling a few chores in for good measure encourages hard work from childhood. Assigning age appropriate chores is a simple way to encourage kids to contribute to their household. Plus, when you send them off to college they’ll actually know how to take care of themselves, which gives you one less thing to worry about.
Creates opportunities: If you do your chores while your kids are cleaning you can create quality family time. Crank up the music and dance while you clean (it really makes doing the dishes a lot more fun) or talk while you scrub the floor together. As your kids get older you’ll have less time to talk to them. If you start creating these moments when they are young, you can continue to bond and connect on a daily basis as they get older.
Chores aren’t slave labor. They are simply teaching your kids responsibility. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking everything is handed to them. The key is to provide age-appropriate chores so your kids aren’t overwhelmed. As they get older the tasks get a little more difficult to match their age.
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