Motivating children to help around the house can be a challenge. Whether it's doing the dishes or pulling weeds in the yard, it can be tough to get them to participate. However, there are great benefits to involving them in chores. Accomplishing tasks, even around the house, can make children more attuned to helping others, build their self-confidence, and help them develop key life skills.
Research has shown that children who participate in chores from a young age become more independent adults. Chores are a simple way to transition your child into taking on responsibilities. Household tasks also build a child's confidence in accomplishing goals and challenges. Directing children to consistently do things like picking up their toys, cleaning their plate after dinner, and taking out the trash creates positive habits for the future. It's incredible how many people go to college or move away from their parents for the first time and don't know how to do their own laundry! Making sure children learn basic skills from a young age benefits them exponentially.
A common misconception is that some children are too young to help around the house. Preschool-aged children can get started with chores by doing things like picking up their toys, collecting their dirty clothes, or wiping down a table with soapy water. Make chores fun by creating a game. Give everyone a bucket or bin and see who can pick up the most toys by the end of your favorite song. Things like picture charts and sticker rewards can also be great incentives for accomplishing the not-so-fun chores.
The older your children get, the more involved they should be around the house. As they get older, make sure to set expectations of what and how things should be done. This way, there is no confusion, and everyone is on the same page. Going step by step through sorting, washing, folding and putting away laundry builds knowledge and confidence.
With all the benefits that children get from doing chores, we can't forget the benefits for parents as well. Chores allow them to give back for all that parents provide for them. Through chores, they become part of the team and an active contributor to the family. Additionally, all of the things your children are doing are fewer things that parents have to worry about at the end of the day. More self-sufficient children make for less stress for parents in the long run. As much of a hassle as it can be to get children started doing chores, the positive impact for both you and your child make it worth all the while.