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Are Chores Good for Children?

Families tend to have very different opinions and approaches when it comes to the allocation of chores within the household. Some children do very little to help around the home and are left to their own devices, whilst others are involved with tasks such as tidying their toys and clearing the table after meals from a very young age. Essentially, like all things it comes down to personal preference – some parents feel guilty allocating tasks to their children, preferring to let them focus on play and learning. Other families will tell you that their children have plenty of time to play despite the fact that they are expected to help around the home a little each day with age appropriate chores.


Chores Are Good For You

According to an ongoing experiment; the Harvard Grant Study, children who are accustomed to doing chores from an early age are more likely to develop into successful adults! This fascinating study which began way back in 1938 came to the conclusion that chores had a positive impact on success after following the lives of 724 high achieving Harvard University graduates, and gathering key data in order to establish the key ingredients that had contributed to their success as adults. One important observation drawn from this data was that all of the most successful adults had been expected to carry out chores as a child.


Chores Can Teach Children Key Life Skills For Success

The link between chores and success is thought to be down to instilling a healthy work ethic early on. Children who carry out chores such as helping with laundry, cleaning up after dinner, or walking the family dog, gain a sense of being part of a team and learn that their role has an impact on others – be it within the family unit early on, or as part of a team within the workplace later on. Learning to carry out chores teaches children the importance of being reliable and dependable, – and can also help to develop empathy and insight early on. Working on chores and helping others is a healthy skill for a child as it helps to develop insight into the needs of others.


Many Hands Make Light Work

When a family works together to get the table cleared after a meal, the job is completed in record time, allowing everyone can get on with something more fun, such as rest or recreation. A situation that can only create a happier and healthier environment for all.



Preparation For Independence

Another great reason for children to carry out chores is the fact that the skills they learn on route will assist them in being more able and independent. Whether they are learning how to dust and tidy, fold clothing neatly or peel potatoes, these are all tasks which form the essential life skills we need later on as independent adults.


Choose Age Appropriate Tasks And Keep Them Keen!

Even children as young as two years old will enjoy helping their parents and carers with little tasks around the home and beyond. Tasks such as:

  • Picking up toys after playtime and putting them away
  • Straightening out cushions on the sofa
  • Putting dirty clothing in the laundry basket
  • Setting the table for a meal
  • Feeding family pets or replenishing a water bowl
  • Putting shopping items in the supermarket trolley

When asking children to carry out chores, it is crucial to be specific about your expectations, showing them exactly how you want them to do the said task. Keep in mind that they may well not achieve perfection every time and be sure to bestow plenty of praise on them for helping as your positivity will help to keep them keen, avoiding the risk of the chores you set feeling like a negative activity, or punishment.


Financial Reward?

With older children who are given pocket money – you may decide that attributing a little financial reward to some chores is a useful motivator… Even if it’s a small amount, it can be increased incrementally as the chores increase or the child becomes older. Learning from an early age that money is a commodity that must be earned rather than plucked from trees can be an incredibly useful life lesson for your offspring!

June 22, 2018

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