From the time they are two, children can already help you around the house. Nowadays, all too often, parents struggle in getting their teenagers to help; it is an ongoing battle. Other parents worry that children should just focus on their homework and not be distracted by chores or daily routines, or they think children are too young and incapable of completing tasks such as chores, or finally, they feel guilty that they are using their children as child labourers.
The thing is that there are multiple benefits to teaching children to help out around the house from the time they are really small. It is of a great disservice to actually not do this. I thought I would simply list below those benefits, and maybe it will change your mind about getting your children involved in household chores and daily tasks:
- It teaches them to be responsible
- It teaches them to be organized and time management
- It reduces clutter which causes a lot of stress
- It teaches them to respect their belongings and thus respect the belonging of others
- It teaches them cooperation
- It teaches them how to live in community and how to be respectful of other people’s space
- It teaches them organizational skills and various other life skills
- It teaches them to live in a clean environment
- It teaches them about life in a realistic way
- It teaches them about rules and compliance : that’s just the way it is
- It teaches them to become conscious individuals (of themselves, others and the environment)
- It teaches children to want to help around the house and contribute, and later you don’t have to pay them to do chores. Do you get paid to clean, cook, fix the house? So why should they?
- It prepares them for real life
- It builds their self-esteem
- It fosters independence
- It instills rhythms in their lives, and rhythms foster safety and security
- It prepares them for adulthood
- They make better roommates and spouses
- Little children especially do not see this as a chore and they love helping out
- If you start when they are young it won’t be a battle later on
- It is another way to bond and connect with your children
- It greatly helps you out, and as they get older it frees up your time
- It keeps your house clean and clutter free
- It lessens your load and helps you out
- Children love to help and they feel good about themselves for doing so
- It develops empathy
- They are proud of themselves when they accomplish a task and bring it to its completion
- They become helpful children and help outside of your house as well
- It develops different skills at different ages
- They become well rounded individuals
- You don’t need to worry when they go on sleepovers or visits that they won’t help out
- It fosters gratitude
- They appreciate you better, because they experience the efforts involved in taking care of a house, meals and people.
- When you start young, not only do they learn it is part of life, later as teens, you don’t need to bribe them with money or threaten to take away privileges, which ends up backfiring on you anyways.
I am sure that there are many more benefits I could come up with that are offshoots of what I have already listed, but you get the point. In my sense there is no negative consequence to getting your child involved in chores or daily routines, at all ages.
I have included a chores list developed by Maria Montessori. I hope it helps, pin it on your fridge as a reminder. You can find the original here to print.
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