Children and chores have had a longstanding relationship in our society. But with more and more parents having less time to assign chores, it is a tradition that is gradually dying out. According to a study by Braun Research which has created some buzz around the subject of child care, while 82 percent of respondents reported having done chores as children, only 28 percent actually have their kids do the same.
According to many of the parents who were surveyed, the hectic schedules that kids have today with school and extracurricular activities make parents reluctant to add more responsibilities on their young shoulders.
The parents too have little time to assign chores and demonstrate them properly to their children. What is significant about this survey is that it has prompted experts to urge parents to get their kids doing chores again. Cleaning the bathroom and doing the dishes from a young age can actually have benefits later in professional and personal lives.
Why Children Need Chores
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette simultaneously published an article which revealed the data collected for 25 years at the University of Arkansas since 1967. This data was collected to find out if household chores that children were required to do from ages three and four had a direct bearing on the success of their children when they reached their mid-twenties.
The conclusion is that kids who grow up doing chores and contributing to their family are more well-adjusted, have more fulfilling relationships as adults and more successful in their careers. This is because the family is the child’s first introduction to society. Learning to contribute to it from a young age helps the child develop a sense of empathy and understanding the importance of contributing as an adult.
According to Jennifer Wallace, writing in the Wall Street Journal, allowing this tradition to disappear could have some serious consequences on future adults. It has been established that kids who did chores grew up to be more confident adults. They demonstrated self-reliance and a positive work ethics, says Wallace. The chores referred to are not self-care tasks but family duties such as mowing the lawn, cleaning dishes, throwing out the trash, folding the laundry and so on. Wallace also urges that kids should not be paid to do chores either.
Keeping up the Tradition
The conclusion is parents should assign chores despite their kids having busy schedules at school and other activities. They should not pay their kids for doing any of these chores. It helps to treat chores as a game, especially with younger kids. When you treat a particular chore as a task with many levels that must each be completed or mastered to go over to the next one, it is possible to get the kids excited and involved.
What is important is taking the time to demonstrate to the child how a task should be done. Children learn by example. Parents should also take on an engaging attitude saying “Let us do some chores” rather than adopting a commanding tone with “Do the chores”.