Should kids have more chores?  Should they use a chore chart? I think that chores are so important to our kids’ sense of well-being.  It gives them a sense of meaning in our family and teaches responsibility.  I have always wanted our kids to have age-appropriate chores, but sometimes we are just so busy that I’d love to just skip them!  However, after reading this, I think I’ll find the time…

“Research from a well-known 75-year Harvard study examined what psychosocial variables and biological processes from earlier in life predict health and well-being later in life. Researchers found that children who were given chores became more independent adults.”

They go onto say ” Kids feel competent when they do their chores. Whether they’re making their bed or they’re sweeping the floor, helping out around the house gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Doing chores also helps kids feel like they’re part of the team. Pitching in and helping family members is good for them and it encourages them to be good citizens.”

Are kids too busy for chores?

According to Boston Globe:  “By at least some accounts, tasks, like doing the laundry or cleaning up after dinner, have fallen off kids’ to-do lists. In a Braun Research poll of 1,001 parents last year commissioned by Whirlpool, the appliance manufacturer, just 28 percent said they regularly assign chores to their kids, even though 82 percent said they grew up doing chores themselves.

It isn’t hard to imagine reasons for this shift. Tightly packed schedules can leave kids little time for housework — which, unlike calculus assignments or soccer practice, probably won’t influence college admissions decisions. Some parents may want to spare their children the drudgery they endured. Others may find that nagging kids to do their chores is more of a burden than they bargained for.”

Chores help kids become successful adults

“When young people have been expected to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, and to ask how they can contribute to the household, it leads to a mindset of pitching in in other settings, such as the workplace,” Lythcott-Haims said. Not giving kids chores, she added, “deprives them of the satisfaction of applying their effort to a task and accomplishing it.”

In fact, A University of Minnesota 20 year study found that the best predictor of adult success was based on if they had begun doing chores at an early age… as young as 3 or 4.   It’s never too late to start.

MAKE IT FUN: Kids get excited as they draw their next chore from this container of labeled popsicle sticks, reducing the anxiety of asking them to help out around the house.

Give them a reward, like extra screen time.  (No more guilt for giving your kids screen time… they can EARN it!) 

The easiest way to get started with chores? Just start!   

Today or tomorrow, print off these Chore Cards, cut them apart and put them into a basket.
Let your kids pick a chore. Start off with one or two. I usually have our kids based on their age.

Example :
3, 4 or 5 years old = 2 cards.
6, 7 or 8 years old = 3 cards
9, 10 or 11 years old = 4 cards.
12, 13, 14, 15 = 5 cards.

After they complete their chores, have them put the chore back into the basket. These chores are quick to complete, so they won’t spend too much time on them, but they will be learning responsibly from them.

You could even have rules like “1 chore + normal responsibilities (make the bed, clean up dish after meals) during the week, and more chore cards on the weekend when we have more time.” Whatever works for you!

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