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What Kids Can Learn from Helping with Family Chores

It is a familiar scenario. You work all day and come home to a mountain of chores. By the time everything is finished, you are exhausted and barely have the energy to put the kids to bed. If you’re smart, you can increase your family’s quality time by introducing children to age appropriate chores at an early age. Chores should never be used as a punishment, there are valuable lessons to be learned from doing household duties.



Introduce the concept of chores slowly. Too many can be overwhelming and increase the odds of failure for younger kids. After the novelty of a new responsibility wears off, your child may balk and try to avoid the chore. Stand firm with your expectations, but do not become an unreasonable boss. Remember, even adults need an occasional day off. You want your child to become responsible not avoid responsibility.



Children are not free labor. Do not simply assign household chores. Include children in family duties. It is a matter of attitude. Set realistic goals and work together to complete your “to do” list. Reward hard work with a family oriented treat. Chores can be an excellent example of teamwork. This type of lesson can help children interact with school peers and participate in sports.



Do not expect instant perfection from your child. The forks may not be perfectly washed and coffee grounds may spill before the trash reaches the garbage can. Do not focus on the mistakes. It is easy to become frustrated and do the job yourself. Resist the urge. Instead, offer helpful tips and be sure to praise a well-done job. A Utah snow removal company says regular maintenance is part of their pride. Show that same pride with regular duties and your kids. Positive reinforcement will encourage the child to do better and successfully completed chores will become a source of pride.



Try not to get stuck in a rut. Increase and diversify your child’s chores as they mature. Include your child in the discussion. Is there a particular job they would like to try? You never know when a simple chore might ignite a lifelong passion. The child who was introduced to cooking may become a restauranteur and the kid who enjoys getting his hands dirty may start gardening later on.

Chores can be an important part of childhood, but they should never be a major part. Remember the old adage about all work and no play. Adulthood is forever. Allow your child to enjoy being a kid for as long as possible. A healthy balance will provide your child with the necessary tools to become a happy and productive member of society.


Eileen O'Shanassy

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.