Kids today are busier than ever -- with a challenging school curriculum, homework, extracurricular activities, sports, and clubs, there are too few hours in the day for kids to just be kids as it is! And what about parents? Do they really have the time to repeatedly remind their children to do a task when they could just complete it more efficiently themselves? While these arguments have their merit, they don't acknowledge the many advantages of giving children responsibilities at home -- and the benefits far outweigh the challenges!
Whether we like it or not, chores are an inevitable part of everyday life for most people -- and we are not born knowing how to operate a washing machine! Helping around the house teaches kids valuable life skills that aren’t fully covered in school -- like how to pick up after yourself and efficiently organize your space, how to do laundry and why you separate red clothes from white clothes, and how to cook a meal for your family without leaving a disastrous mess in the kitchen. Plus kids get a bonus self esteem boost from feeling capable and accomplished!
Having responsibilities at home can also give children an opportunity for hands-on learning about more abstract concepts -- like time management and teamwork! With many demands on their time, kids will have to learn to plan and set priorities. Learning these skills early will help them balance their obligations in their home life with their achievement goals in the future and they’ll have developed the grit to get through the most challenging of times.
When the whole family pitches in to take care of things together you foster an atmosphere of teamwork! Setting this precedent encourages kids to be good citizens -- because it invites them to be more considerate of the needs of their team, cultivating empathy. Furthermore doing the housework as a team is a great excuse to spend some quality time together!
A 75-year Harvard study showed that doing chores at a young age made kids more likely to grow up into happy and independent adults. So when you’ve had to remind your child for the seventh time today to pick up their toys, remember -- they may fight you now but they’ll thank you later!