Every household has chores that need to be done, and this is especially true if that household includes children. In fact, the more people who live in a household, the more work there is in general. More people make more messes. There are more dishes, more laundry, more trash. There is more dust, more dirt, and more personal items.
It goes without saying that a full house usually begets a heavy workload. In many families, there are two working parents and the children are heavily scheduled. So who should do the work? Should the parents? Or should children, too, have chores?
Parent-only chores are a downfall for everyone
There are a number of people out there who believe that kids should just be able to enjoy their childhood and never have to clean up after themselves. This belief stems from what seems to be a more modern mindset of ensuring children are happy, no matter what. These days, parents over-indulge and under-parent their kids. They feel it is their duty to go to work (usually both of them), and then come home and do all the necessary clean-up and other duties to keep the household in order. Their children are then free to do whatever they want, which is supposed to make them happy.
But often times, this will burn out the parents, making them more susceptible to anger, depression, and chronic fatigue. The more chores there are, the higher the risk of this being the case. There is also a connection between constant focus on one’s self and depression, which parents are unknowingly fostering in their children. Giving children chores helps alleviate the burden on the parents while teaching children to be selfless. It’s a win-win situation!
Other benefits of children having chores
When my oldest child was just five or six years old, she begged me to let her help fold laundry. The sense of accomplishment my little girl felt after she finished folding her pile of towels was priceless. She was so excited, she jumped with joy. The satisfaction on her beaming face made my mama-heart swell. The truth is, kids’ self esteem gets a huge boost from accomplishment, even from chores.
Another benefit of giving a child chores, is that they are learning responsibility. Age-appropriate chores help a child learn that sense of responsibility at their level, and build a strong foundation for becoming a responsible adult. Other benefits include the ability to manage time, learning organizational skills, and developing the balance between work and play. Children need to learn that as part of a family, their efforts to contribute to the balance and well-being of the household is both vital, and appreciated. Many hands make light work, and light work means more time for family and other interests.
Yes, children should have chores
Learning to be responsible, independent, and productive members of society starts at home. Chores can act as stepping stones for all of these things, and can start even as early as age three. Each age-range has many chores that are appropriate for a child’s skills and abilities, and you will often find that your child can accomplish much more than you anticipate. Through chores, children learn vital skills necessary for life. Give your child a few chores, and know it will make them happier, and more well-rounded overall.