With its longer days and more relaxed scheduling, summertime is a perfect time to get the kids started on a regular chore routine.
If you’ve been wanting to start a chore routine, or started one that was lost amidst the resistance and complaints, here’s some motivation!
Benefits of Chores for Kids
Chores help younger kids develop motor skills
The simple movement of so many household tasks can help kids as young as three develop their gross and fine motor skills – pulling weeds, watering plants, measuring ingredients, and simple sweeping. The results don’t have to be perfect; it’s the simple action of participating and manipulating the materials that matter.
But kids of all ages can do chores! Here’s a handy chore by age chart that can help get them started: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/311803974182794192/
Chores are an indicator of future success
According to a 2002 study by Dr. Marty Rossman, young adults who began chores at an earlier age were more likely to achieve academic and early job success, have good relationships with their family and friends, and to be more self-reliant than those who began chores in their teen years or not at all.
Chores teach self-discipline
We all know there are plenty of things that have to get done even when we would rather be doing something (anything!) else than a task that resembles work. Regular chores teach kids that it’s important to show up and do the work when we don’t feel like it. This practice of self-discipline crosses over into all areas of our lives.
Chores teach empathy & ownership
When the kids become helpers, they become active contributors to the household instead of passive recipients of services. Kids want to feel valued, so why not give them the opportunity to make that contribution while lightening the workload? Doing chores lets the kids see how important the daily busy-ness of the house is, even if they may grumble about it at the time.
Okay, I’m ready to start the kids on chores!
Note sure where to begin? Here are a few tips for getting the kids motivated to start their chore practice:
- A recent study found that thanking young children for “being a helper” rather than “helping” significantly increased their desire to participate because it helped give them the positive identity of “someone who helps”.
- The jury is still on the benefit of tying kids’ chores to an allowance, but many experts recommend against the practice. When chores become associated with monetary gain, kids lose a sense of the bigger picture – actively participating in making the household a better place for everyone.
- Keep the talk about chores on the positive side by not threatening punishment for chores left undone and keeping complaints about your own housework to a minimum.
- Increase empathy by having the kids do chores that benefit everyone, not just themselves. This means emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming the living room, and not just cleaning their own bedrooms and doing personal laundry.
- Chores have a way of being put off, especially when the sun is shining and the beach is calling! Try scheduling chores in a task list or family calendar like Bievo to make sure that the whole family knows when chores need to be done.