May 11, 2016
Whether you think you can get the dishes done faster if you do it yourself, you don't want to take away your little one's blissful freedom or you'd rather not engage in the never-ending battle of "I promise I'll do it later," there are a variety of reasons why you may choose to forego administering household tasks to your children. However, the importance of children taking part in family responsibilities is not only valuable for the family as a whole, but beneficial for your little one as well.
The importance of childhood chores
When a young child is asked to participate in tasks such as dinner preparation, cleanup of the living room or household pet responsibilities, he gains a sense of understanding and perhaps even revelation that the world does not revolve entirely around him. Similar to belonging to a large community later in life, he understands that he is part of a larger family and in order to keep it going smoothly, he must share in the responsibilities, according to Family Education.
The shared belief among most parents, according to the source, is that all children should take part in household chores, even if that means merely being responsible for cleaning their own room. Others may assign certain tasks and still others may simply ask for a hand when the need arises. Though some may believe their little ones are too young to take on responsibilities, asking them to help will actually empower them to take on this new challenge.
The Center for Parenting Education suggests that parents who expect their young ones to take part in household responsibilities and complete their individual tasks of self-care, provide them with the proper skills to live and grow independently later in life. In addition to preparing them for the "real world," there are a number of benefits for young children to gain from lending a helping hand and contributing around the house.
"Household chores can help children become more resourceful."
Taking part in household chores teaches discipline and responsibility. PBS Parents asserts that by taking on small jobs around the home, children become more resourceful. Through trial and error, young cleaners, table-setters and dog-walkers will learn to complete a task from start to finish.
Where to start
The balancing act of chores can be difficult when starting off. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests starting with one small task at a time, especially for children who are new to chores. Introducing responsibilities one by one will be more manageable and, make your child more likely to comply. There are plenty of age-appropriate tasks for all children, according to PBS Parents. Start toddlers with tasks such as feeding the dog, putting dirty clothes in the hamper or putting toys away. As they get older, tasks can including making the bed, helping with dishes, taking out the trash or setting the table.
Creating a chore chart that is tapped to the refrigerator or in the bedroom is a great way to remind your little one which day he is supposed to feed the cat or clean up the toy room. This also helps if you have more than one child responsible for completing household tasks, so that you can keep track of each.
Another great thing about creating a chore chart is that kids can earn stickers or stars for each completed task. Not only is this a great incentive, but it will help them feel accomplished and good about themselves as well. However, when it comes to chores and allowance, it gets tricky. Even experts remain divided on whether or not chores should be rewarded or incentivized with cash. For those who are unsure, keeping chores and allowance separate is a good idea.