When little hands struggle to complete their chores with the degree of skill that an adult possesses, it can be tempting for parents and caregivers to simply do the work themselves in the interest of saving time. There is, however, a wide array of benefits that children can reap from completing household chores. Here are 10 of the reasons it’s wise to institute a chore policy the moment a child is old enough to express interest in helping.
- Self-Sufficiency and Independence – When kids learn to complete their chores on their own, without having to be cajoled into doing so by a parent or caregiver or directed in the proper way to do so, they’re also learning their first lessons in self-sufficiency and independence.
- A Sense of Responsibility – Children who know that there are certain tasks that must be completed, and that it falls to them to ensure that they’re done well, are learning about personal responsibility. Gaining this understanding during childhood years helps kids grow into more well-rounded, capable and successful adults.
- The Knowledge That a Feeling of Accomplishment Accompanies a Job Well-Done – One of the greatest rewards of a job well done is the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with it. Mastering a task boosts a child’s self-esteem and confidence level, helping her to excel in other areas.
- Time Management – Juggling homework, chores and extracurricular activities may seem like too much pressure, but it’s important for parents to remember that their children are gaining precious time management experience that is essential in adulthood.
- Basic Life Skills – A child who knows how to make his own bed will become an adult who is capable of handling basic tasks. When children are required to do chores such as helping with laundry or loading a dishwasher, they’re not just performing menial tasks for their parents or caregivers; they’re also learning to do these things for themselves when they move out into the world as adults.
- Household Management Skills – Learning to manage smaller aspects of household management in childhood, with gradually increasing responsibility into adolescence and the teenage years, instills the ability to successfully manage a household later in life.
- An Appreciation for Order and Cleanliness – Children who are taught to keep things around them neat and tidy from a very early age may have less trouble maintaining order in their lives during the college and young adult years.
- Teamwork Skills – Working alongside parents, caregivers and siblings to complete essential tasks teaches children a very powerful lesson in working as part of a team and helping others in order to achieve a common goal. These skills will pay off in spades in a professional setting as an adult.
- Strong Work Ethic – Understanding the value and necessity of hard work during childhood and teen years is an essential part of becoming an industrious, successful adult. By requiring children to complete regular tasks and holding them accountable, parents and caregivers are helping their children build a strong work ethic.
- The Importance of Routine and Consistency – Caring for a pet, or even a houseplant, helps children understand the importance of establishing and adhering to a routine. Forgetting to feed the guinea pig leaves it hungry and miserable. Forgetting to water a plant causes it to die. These lessons can help kids absorb the necessity of creating a routine that they keep faithfully.
Small children aren’t likely to have the fine motor skills to complete many tasks to perfection, but it’s imperative that parents and caregivers do not allow children to see them redoing their work, which creates a feeling of failure. Instead, praise a child for his effort and focus on the process rather than the result, until he’s old enough to master a task.