It is difficult to delegate and implement a chore chart or task list for children to complete. The words “do your chores” bring a feeling of dread amongst all, whether a child is four or fourteen. However, many studies have found that when households have a regular chore structure in place, children and teens benefit greatly! Additionally, when we teach our children to do chores, we are essentially preparing them to eventually be independent individuals. We are aware that teaching a three-year-old the basics of independence is not the most age appropriate expectation, but you’ll thank us when they’re thirteen and doing the dishes all by themselves! Keep in mind that we want to give our children small and achievable responsibilities, to help their self-reliance and their level of accountability. Here are some ways that children benefit from chores, and some tips on getting your children to complete their checklists.
My parents once told me: “You can’t do what you want to do until you’ve done what you have to do.” As a teenager, these words meant little to me. As an adult, I can now appreciate what they were trying to teach me. It is vital that children and teens understand why they are being asked to do their chores. They must understand that chores are not a punishment, nor do they reap any reward. Chores are simply shared responsibilities that must be done to maintain a wholesome household. If you’re looking for a list of age appropriate chores, this is a great article that might help!
The best way to ensure that your child never “forgets” to do a chore is to create a chore chart and place it in a very central area in the house; we recommend the fridge. This is a great way to skip all the nagging and negotiating with your child or teen. Looking for some inspiration for your chore chart? Here's a chart that we made with age appropriate chores, and a blank template if you want to build your own chore chart!
Another great way to avoid the constant repetition and running after your children to do their chores is to set time limits for their tasks. Add these to your chore chart so that they know precisely when specific tasks need to be complete or give them a verbal time frame in which you would like them to complete a particular task. Another twist to this trick is presenting this time limit as a challenge, which typically works with younger children.
Become Successful Adults: Martin Rossman from the University of Minnesota conducted a longitudinal study that took place over the span of 20 years. Rossman found that children that started chores at ages 3-4 were more likely to succeed in life and have better relationships.Develop Fine, and Gross Motor Skills: Not all skills taught have to be turned into lifelong philosophical lessons! Young children have great opportunities to develop hands-on physical skills when performing household tasks. Helping out in the kitchen by measuring ingredients can be a great task to improve physical and cognitive development. Have you heard that Laurus has a Year-Round Cooking Program for Little Chefs? Click the link for details!
Learn the Value of Independence: Parents want to prepare their teens and young adults for real life to the best of their abilities. Teaching your teen to clean up after themselves, and cook a meal instills a great sense of confidence in both you and your child. Knowing that your teenager is progressing into young adulthood with a proper set of life skills under their belt is a reassuring feeling. Additionally, your teen will feel a great sense of pride when they make their first meal by themselves! Would you like for your teen to learn how to cook? Laurus offers a Year-Round Cooking Program for Teens as well! Click the link to find out more!Understand Delayed Gratification: It all boils down to this; Do what you have to do before doing what you want to do. It certainly feels terrific to play video games or watch Netflix all day as an adult, but it feels so much better when we know that our to-do list is complete! Instill this feeling of delayed gratification into your teen's life, and everyone wins!Remember that implementing a new system into a household can be a difficult task, and it will not happen overnight. Patience and consistency are key, and before you know it, your kids will be cooking and cleaning up a storm!