There are many advantages to giving kids chores to do around the house. While it can often be easier to just do the household chores yourself -- especially when it takes five times as long to explain to your 5-year-old what needs to get done, and then supervise her while she does it -- the fact is that helping out with everyday tasks is important for your child’s development.
Why Giving Kids Chores Can Be Good for Them
The small tasks your 5-year-old can do around the house may not seem like much, but they can teach your child valuable lessons that will last into his preteen years and beyond. By the time your grade-schooler is 9 or 10-years-old, he can make significant contributions to household tasks. Some examples of the ways chores can benefit kids:
- Giving kids chores can build self-esteem. Getting a chore done and doing it well can give your child a major sense of accomplishment. My 7-year-old vacuums and cleans the floor every weekend with a microfiber cloth. He sometimes grumbles when he’s not in the mood to do work, but he usually gets into it once he gets started. And the look of satisfaction he gets on his face when he wrangles piles of dust bunnies: Priceless.
- Giving kids chores can teach the importance of completing an assigned job. This will become more useful as your child gets older and has more responsibilities at school and at home.
- Giving kids chores can emphasize the value of keeping things clean and organized. It’s easier to find things -- and think clearly -- when your environment is less cluttered.
- Giving kids chores can set a pattern of helping around the house. Once you get your child into the household chore habit, it’ll become a part of his life that will continue into the teen years and beyond.
- Giving kids chores can give him a sense of being part of the household "team." When my son asks why he has to do a chore, I explain that he’s a part of the family, and everyone in the family must do his share. By giving him the "we’re all in this together" way of looking at things, he is more likely to see his work as part of something bigger. He’s also less likely to see household chores as something he’s being singled out and forced to do since everyone is working together.