“What life skills do you want to transmit to your children?”
This is how we begin our Positive Discipline parenting workshops and invariably parents share a list of traits Thtlike these:
- Love of excellence
That’s why we love getting kids involved in chores: to transmit these skills to your children AND SIMULTANEOUSLY to make life easier for you.
Check out Ludocatix which creates magnetic chore charts which you and the kids, together, adapt to your home.
Do You Know?
In a survey of 1001 US adults, 82% said they had regular chores growing up but only 23% indicated that they require their children to do them, reports the Wall Street Journal in their article “Why Children Need Chores.”
Many parents feel they burden their children with chores and feel guilty. Or they fear chores could negatively impact their relationship with the kids. Yet research demonstrates the opposite.
Research indicates that those children who do have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.
Aren’t those the skills parents desire to pass onto their children?!
Today’s gift, a magnetic chore chart you can create with your children, helps them remember their chores in a fun and colorful way.
10 Ways Children Benefit from Chores
Here are 10 reasons why chores are great for kids…and therefore great for you too.
- To help kids feel needed
How do you define your family? What helps the kids know that they BELONG. When a child has a regular chore, the other family members COUNT ON HIM. He is needed; he has a role to contribute to the well being of all.
- To build a love of excellence
Parents get to encourage quality in work as they observe how well a chore is completed. They are also able to provide immediate, usable feedback.
“Honey, is that pink toothpaste I still see on the bathroom sink? A clean sink is shiny and white. Show me how you cleaned it last time and we’ll find one thing you can do differently to make the sink glow!”
- To not treat parents like the Maid of the Butler
When parents or house help do all the chores, kids tend to treat those who clean up like…servants whose purpose is to fulfill their desires. Parents have a higher calling! When children participate in chores, their respect for parents grows. They’re not going to treat Mom or Dad like servants, because they do the same thing!
“Darling, we are a family. Everyone helps. It’s what we do.”
- To teach responsibility
The dishwasher gets emptied every day. The trash gets taken out several times a week. We vacuum the living room on a regular basis. Household chores are recurring tasks and children learn to the importance of ongoing maintenance effort.
- To manage time
Chores require a little bit of time. It takes 5 minutes to set the table. 10 minutes to declutter the front hallway. 10 minutes to vacuum under the dining table. A regular chore requires a child to integrate these few minutes into their daily schedule.
- To improve school grades
Performance at school is often related to ongoing, regular effort…just like chores. Mastery of a subject grows little bit with daily practice. Chores show immediate results and thus reinforce the value of this daily effort.
- To build empathy
We do chores for the benefit of everyone in the family, not just for ourself. At an early age, chore-doing children get to learn to think of and act for others.
- To build hope for the future
Chores truly become burdensome when they are done alone. When children see their parents always busy with household tasks and not available to play, they create a sad vision of adulthood: all work, no fun. Why grow out of child-like behavior if it’s to become a slave to toil?
- To become a more attractive partner
As the mother of four boys, I remind them, “If you want to attract a woman of value, you can’t treat her like a maid. Treat her like a woman of value!” And that means doing your share of the chores.
- To be appreciated & affirmed
The result of chores is immediate. Either the table is set or it is not. And everyone in the family knows who’s turn it is to prepare the table for dinner this week.
“Sweetheart, that’s a lovely job folding the napkins this way. Thank you!”
“Today we can thank Joe for the clean hallway. Thanks, darling. I really appreciate not tripping over backpacks.”
And we have not even mentioned that kids enjoy a cleaner home, they learn motor skills, they test negotiation skills (“Can you do the dishwasher for me today and I’ll vacuum the stairs for you tomorrow?”) and soooo much more.
How to move from theory to practice? A chore chart sure helps. And Ludocatix’s colorful magnetic charts make it easy.
Children and parents work together to decide who does what when.
And as the children grow and their abilities evolve and your family needs change, well, just move the magnets around to update the chart!
Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash