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Cleaning | Kids/Families

3 Reasons Why Kids Benefit From Household Chores

Why you should avoid letting household chores slide

My parent’s told us stories of how they often got up before sunrise to complete a long list of farm chores, and everything had to done before heading off to school. It is so different for Kids today, many are involved in so many extracurricular activities, it a challenge for them just to keep up with their homework. It might be tempting to let chores slide if your child doesn’t seem to have time to do them, but here are three reasons why that might not be a good idea.

1. Household chores teach children valuable skills that last a lifetime.

Building at least a few daily household chores into your child’s day has multiple benefits.  By teaching kids to be responsible for completing daily tasks like making their bed each morning, cleaning their room, and emptying the dishwasher, they learn valuable skills. These skills become helpful habits that carry over in to adulthood.  Reinforcing these important habits go a long way in helping kids develop automated  routines that will serve them long term. Just like remembering to brush our teeth comes without effort, kids who routinely help with household chores, develop ingrained behaviors that help them grow into responsible adults.

2. Families run more smoothly when run as a team

These days, many families are so busy that all hands are needed on deck just to keep up with day-to-day to do lists. Teamwork is even more crucial for single parent families. Families function best when everyone within the family unit understands their role and responsibility as a family member to contribute and do their part. Children learn the important lesson of working as a team. Additionally, all those essential tasks that keep families organized and on top of things, get done. This goes a long way to lower stress levels and promote peace in the home. The full responsibility of running a household should never fall upon one person. Even very young children can join the team by doing simple household chores like putting clean silverware away.

3. Household chores teach kids to be self- reliant

When you teach a child how to do age-appropriate tasks, they learn important tangible and self-sustainable skills. By the time a child heads off to college, it becomes really helpful for them to know how to do things, like wash laundry, wash dishes or cook a simple meal. It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that when something needs to get done,  it is faster to just do it yourself.  But it’s it only takes one time to teach your child step-by-step, how to complete a task. They can then do it themselves from that point onward.  This is helpful to both you and to your child. When your child succeeds at accomplishing a task, they gain self-confidence, and gained a helping hand. 

kids chores

Here are a few ideas for getting your kids involved in helpful household tasks. These ideas will foster a sense of responsibility, and will also help your family stay organized from week to week.  

Tip 1:  Have your kids take turns preparing meals  

If you have older children, give them the responsibly of making a meal for the family once a week. If that seems unrealistic given your busy schedule, try it once a month. Or, if they are too busy during the school year, let this be a weekly summertime activity. I did this with my children and not only did each of them learn valuable cooking skills, they also learned to enjoy cooking.  As for me, I enjoyed getting a break from having to make supper once in a while!  I let them decide what they wanted to make for supper and they would give me a list of items to pick up from the grocery store.  Sometimes they chose a favorite family recipe, and sometimes they tried an entirely new recipe.  I only helped by being available to answer questions. 

Tip 2: Establish routine family clean-up sessions

Consider how long it takes one person to tidy up a messy home. Now imagine how quickly the house can go from disheveled to clutter-free when the whole family gets involved in the tidying. At the end of each day, have everyone participate in a quick clean up session together. You can even set a timer or play music to make it more fun. You will be amazed at what 10 minutes of tidying up can do to transform your home when everyone pitches in.

Tip 3:  Hold a family meeting to divvy up household chores. 

Make a list of all of the things that have to be done around the house regularly to keep your family organized and in control.  Then, discuss each item and talk about the importance of working as a team.  Divvy up the list so that each family member is given an equal load of responsibilities. Be sure chores are age appropriate. Chores can be assigned with consideration to who likes to do what. I hate to empty the dishwasher, but my daughter doesn’t mind this chore. As an alternative, chores can be rotated monthly so that everyone gets their turn at doing each chore.  This way, everyone learns to perform each task and everyone takes turns at each chore. This prevents any arguments over who is going to be responsible for doing popular or unpopular chores.

Tip 4: Balance is key

Limit how many extracurricular activities your kids are involved in, so that they can keep up with homework, and still have time to contribute to household chores without being overwhelmed. Like everything else, it is important to balance your child’s workload by saying yes to some activities and no to others in order for them to keep up with the demands of their daily schedule.  We all function best when we have just the right balance of work, play and rest.

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