Should children be involved with household chores? The answer is a resounding yes. Not only will their contributions help ease their parents’ workload at home, it will also teach them several important lessons in life, which will eventually help enhance their self-esteem.
Housework Encourages Teamwork
When children help out in the family, there will be a sense of teamwork and cooperation. Through shared contributions, problems and difficulties, they begin to see the family as a team. The sense of togetherness can be a powerful motivator for children as well as parents within the family.
Housework Teaches Responsibility
Children who perform personal chores regularly are likely to be responsible children. Encourage them to do simple tasks such as packing up toys after playing, putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket, putting their own lunch boxes in school bags and tidying up their rooms. Over time, the same responsible attitude will be extended to other people and things like family, friends, homework, school activities, public amenities, etc.
Housework Promotes Independence
Children are more capable than their parents give them credit for. Very young children around two to three have the natural desire to help their parents. Nurture this enthusiasm. Never mind that there really isn’t much help coming from such young children. The point is to get the kids into the habit of helping. Before long, they will be able to do many simple things on their own. This is great way to encourage independence.
Housework Creates Empathy
As children become more involved with household chores, they will realize how much work there is for Mum to do everyday herself. By putting themselves in Mum’s shoes, they will be more willing to help out and learn not to mess things up so much. The empathy and thoughtfulness that exist within the family will continue outside the home.
Housework Boosts Time Management Skills
When kids are assigned chores and expected to complete them, they are compelled to manage their time wisely. For instance, if they know they must tidy up their room first before they get to watch TV or play games, they often will somehow find the time to get things done. Remember, kids are more capable than parents think. If time management is still a big challenge, parents can help by putting up a chore chart for the kids.
All the values taught above – teamwork, responsibility, independence, empathy and time management skills – will help children develop a sense of achievement. This, coupled with constant words of praise and encouragement from parents when they perform household chores beautifully, will in turn help boost children’s self-esteem. So don’t wait for children to grow older to involve them with housework. Encourage their natural enthusiasm to work alongside Mum and Dad when they are still young.
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Sara Elizabeth, and her husband Andrew, are the creators of Skill Trek, a comprehensive life-skills curriculum that prepares children and teens for the playground, the workplace and everything in between. Parenting both typically developing and special needs children, they created Skill Trek to be customizable and flexible meeting each child where he or she is developmentally. To learn more and keep up with the latest, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagra