Tell us if this sounds at all familiar… you want your kids to help out around the house, but you’re tired and don’t have the patience to show them the “correct” way to do it, so you just end up doing it yourself.

Or, you do ask them to pitch in, but the constant nagging and reminding it takes to make chores happen wears you down until you finally just give up.

Whatever the reason, parents today are more reluctant than ever to ask their kids to do chores. In fact, 25% of of kids aged 5-16 say they don’t do anything to help out around the house. Yikes!

If you’re a parent that isn’t sure about giving your kids chores, or you have trouble summoning the energy to consistently enforce them, we’re here to help.

First by showing how chores help kids even more than they help you. And second, by giving you some tips for getting kids to do their chores without a big hassle. Because who’s got time for that?

How Mom Guilt Kills Chores

Modern parents are hesitant to push their kids to do chores. Mom guilt tops the list of reasons why.

Many parents feel guilty about the amount of time they spend at work. This, in turn, leads them to want to spend the hours they do have with their kids doing fun or enrichment activities. Chores generally don’t make the list.

Parents can also feel guilty about their kids’ overcrowded schedules. Between schoolwork, sports, and other activities…moms are reluctant to cram one more item onto their kids’ busy to-do lists.

One of the best predictors of young adults’ success in their mid-20’s was that they participated in household chores when young.

Not getting your your kids involved in household chores doesn’t help you, or your kids. The research is clear. Chores benefit children in a multitude of ways which we’ll explain.

Benefits Of Chores

Research indicates that children who do chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.

Plus, involving kids in household chores has a positive impact later on in life. One of the best predictors of young adults’ success in their mid-20’s was that they participated in household chores when young.

Kids feel competent when they do chores. They feel like they’re a valuable part of a team. Chores give your kids an opportunity to give back. They see themselves as important contributors to the family, which increases their feelings of pride and responsibility.

Plus, they learn practical life skills that carry on into adulthood. Chores teach kids how to “do the work”  and follow through. They help kids grow into young adults who are not entitled.

Are you convinced yet? You should be! It’s not just about getting your kids to help out around the house, it’s about helping your kids develop into responsible, independent adults.

 

Why chores help kids more than you think
Getty Images

Why Start Chores Young

Now that we all agree, chores help kids. The question becomes, at what age should you start getting the kids involved? Lots of parents wait until their kids are a little older, so they can “really pitch in”. But this plan can backfire.

If you want until your kids are 8, 9, or 10 years old, they’re going to see chores as an inconvenient burden that’s suddenly being thrust upon them. They’ll likely complain, weasel out at every opportunity, and generally make your life miserable as you struggle to enforce the rules.

That’s why we say, get em’ while they’re young!  Start assigning basic chores when your kids are preschool age.

A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that having children take an active role in the household, starting at age 3 or 4, directly influenced their ability to become well-adjusted young adults.

Younger kids are actually wired to want to help. They love mimicking grown ups doing things like cooking and cleaning…just look at some of their toys. Put this impulse to good use!

If you get kids started on chores early, while they’re still in the mommy-helper phase, it will become a habit. Then by the time they’re older, and can be assigned more complex tasks, they’re already used to it.

There’s less of a chance they’ll dig in their heels and resist. Chores are simply part of their normal routine.

Getting Kids Onboard With Chores

One of the best ways to get kids to pitch in when they don’t feel like doing chores is to remind them, “You’re part of the family. We need your help.”  Frame chores like family membership requirements.

Always emphasize the “we” in chores over the “me in chores. These tasks aren’t something I HAVE to do, they are something we need to do for the good of the family unit.

It’s also helpful to be clear and consistent about the chores you expect your kids to do. Chore cards and other tools that allow kids, especially younger kids, to see their responsibilities in a visual format can make this easy and fun.

Get our absolutely free 60+ printable daily routine and chore cards for kids. Plus age-appropriate chore lists and more!

 

Pin chore cards to a bulletin board, tape them to the fridge, just place them somewhere in your kids’ line of sight. They’ll serve as a gentle reminder of tasks that need to be done so you don’t have to keep reminding them all the time.

Raising Responsible Adults

When we take over our kids chores we send them the message that we don’t think they’re capable of doing things for themselves. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to make your child’s bed or clean their room. Chores help kids.

Kids who do chores from a young age grow up to be more self-sufficient, and achieve greater professional success. You don’t want your child to be the kid that arrives at college not knowing how to do their own laundry or cook themselves a meal. No way!

Providing a daily and/or weekly list of chores isn’t a punishment, it’s a way to help raise a helpful human being that can take care of themselves. Trust us, your kids will thank you one day.

Share this article with other parents on Facebook and Pinterest by clicking the buttons below.