We all dreaded doing chores growing up. But chores are an integral part of teaching children about the value of work and the importance of responsibilities. Your kids will also build confidence and independence, because they feel like a valuable part of the family. And with the children pitching in, along with parents, the household will run more smoothly and most everything will get done.
“Giving children jobs around the home helps parents and teaches children they are important cogs in the household wheel,” said Kris Jenkins, a University of Missouri human development specialist. “Chores help children learn to take pride in their work and gain self-respect.”
Chores can begin for children as young as toddlers. They can pick up toys, throw away trash, and handle other simple tasks. When your children reach school age, it may be time to establish a more formal routine for household chores.
- Pick chores that are age appropriate, but not gender specific. Boys can make beds and girls can take out the trash.
- Rotate different chores weekly or monthly to keep children interested.
- Give children a specific time when each chore should be finished.
- Keep a chore chart on the refrigerator and mark with gold stars as tasks are completed.
- Lead by example. Make sure that parents do their chores on time without complaints!
- Don’t reward with money. Chores are a responsibility and kids shouldn’t be bribed to do them. Only give rewards if a child goes the extra mile beyond their regular chores.