Do you ever find yourself exhausted as a parent? Do you wish you had more time in the day to yourself? Are you sick of tidying up everyone else’s mess? Then STOP! It sounds like you need to think about some new systems that create better teamwork in your household. This starts with sharing the workload. Well, introducing some chores for kids at home could make a big difference. Trust us, it works! 💪
Why should children do chores?
Here are some good reasons why:
For kids: 👦👧
Simply put, chores for kids teach valuable life skills:
- It’s good for their mental health: they’ll become independent and able to look after themselves
- Chores are a welcome break from devices and will give them valuable headspace to think through things without distraction
- It will set boundaries and teach them the value of reward for hard work
- It will teach them consequences: if it’s their job to clear the table and they don’t, the next mealtime they’ll see the dirty plates and understand why it needs to be done
- Domestic skills for kids will set them for when they leave home
- Teamwork: a child who can understand teamwork learns to put themselves in another person’s position and work towards a common goal
- Knock-on effects: if a child is taught to look after their home environment, then there’s a higher chance they’ll be more sensitive to looking after the environment outside
For you: 👨👩
- Sharing the load: you shouldn’t be doing everything. A lot of parents choose to do the housework because it’s quicker. We’ll admit, this is a relief in the short term but, put the time in now, and you’ll reap the benefits in the long term.
- Letting go of control: Initially, there will be a period of showing your little one how to vacuum - or maybe this should be, how to vacuum to your standard – and this can take time. But it will be worth it.
- Setting a good example: This is how things work in your house and the sooner, the better. It will be easier to introduce a chore list to your preschooler than it will to your difficult teenager!
- Rewarding hard work: it will give you a way to reward your child whether that be pocket money, a start chart or time on their PS4!
What chores can children do at home?
The short answer is, probably a lot more than you think! Remember what they say, kids are like sponges? Well, this doesn’t just apply to school, it applies to housework as well. Here are some chores for kids by age group:
Chore list for kids ✅
12 and older
If you’re one of those parents who feel bad about making their child do some work and that they should be able to enjoy their childhood, we get it. The thing is they can have both, and by having both, they’ll be more equipped for life!👏
But don’t take our word for it! Have a listen to Julie Lythcott-Haims’ Ted talk. She believes that chores for kids are vital to their self-efficacy:
‘The longest longitudinal study of humans ever conducted is called the Harvard Grant Study. It found that professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids…comes from having done chores as a kid, and the earlier you started, the better, that a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in mindset, …that’s what gets you ahead in the workplace.’
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
What are some easy chores?
We’d recommend starting with some easy chores like dusting or setting the table. But the fact is, with practice, most chores will become easy. Your child could become a wizard at cleaning the bathroom because it’s on their weekly chore list for kids. Likewise, if a child learnt how to throw away rubbish at five and now they’re 11, this is second nature for them. The key is not how easy or difficult the chore is, it’s more a case of keeping chores varied and checking the list of chores by age so that they gradually acquire new skills.
We recommend that, where possible, you pick a time in the week when you all do chores together. And put on some music for good measure. It doesn’t have to be boring, it could even be fun! The best part of this is, by sharing the load, you’ll have more time to actually enjoy your little or not-so-little ones!
So, you have a choice: To chore or not to chore. That is the question! And it’s up to you at the end of the day. Every family is unique and we trust that you know what’s best for your family. Good luck!🍀