Keep the dishes and laundry coming!
Is your child always complaining about doing chores? Are you a stay at home mom or dad who does all the household chores so your child doesn’t even need to pick up their toys off the ground, or fold a towel? Or, maybe you have a nanny who takes care of all the cleaning. Whichever it is, you should make sure your child does some of the household chores because according to research, doing chores makes your child successful. There are huge benefits that come from giving your child responsibilities and being able to manage tasks they are given. Who wouldn’t want that?
There has been an on-going study that’s been taking place for 75 years and counting called the Harvard Grant Study. The study gathers data on various aspects of their lives at regular intervals. It included 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 to present day. In this study, researchers identified the two things that people need in order to be cheerful and prosperous. Can you guess what that is? If not, you’re in luck. People need love and work ethic to be content and successful in their life.
George Vaillant, the Harvard psychiatrist who directed the study for over three decades, said “The journey from immaturity to maturity is a sort of movement from narcissism to connection, and a big part of this shift has to do with the way we deal with challenge.”
Chores help a child mature and know responsibilities. Consider giving your child a chore or task they might find challenging. Your child needs to problem solve and learn how to deal with and accomplish the task. By doing that, your child will learn and grow in terms of having to tackle a hard task when they are older in the work place.
Author of How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lyncott-Haims, discusses this study in her How to Raise Successful Kids without Over-parenting on Ted Talk. Lyncott-Haims states:
“To develop self-efficacy they have to do a hell of a lot more of the thinking, deciding, planning, doing, hoping, trial and error, dreaming, and experience of life for themselves.” Kids need us to be a little less zest with grades and scores and a whole lot more interested in childhood providing a foundation of success build on love and chores.”
Julie Lyncott-Haims believes we focus too much on grades and tests with kids and that they need us to help them focus on love and chores; the key factors The Harvard Study focused on.
Of course Julia and the Harvard Study believe good grades and receiving an education are beneficial. They are more or less focusing on that giving your child responsibilities and tasks will help them become a more successful individual.
Besides the fact that children doing chores helps them become more successful adults, there are a few other ways chores are extremely beneficial.
- Improvement with gross and fine motor skills. As you know, your child is growing and developing their gross and fine motor skills. Having them contribute to chores such as helping you cook or bake, setting and cleaning the table, helps them be hands-on. They can pick up the measuring cup and help you count how much you need for a recipe, or count the number of plates and utensils that are needed for the family dinner. This incorporation of math is a huge benefit for your growing child.
- Chores lead to better social skills. Let your children work together on chores. This teaches them how to share and how to work together on a project. For example, maybe you’re planting a garden outside. One child can pull the weeds out and the other can dig small holes for the seeds to be planted. Chores that involve a great deal of communication and role assignment are helpful to when your child has to use those skills in the future at a job.
- Chores teach children the value of gratification. Children like to be rewarded for things they have done. It can be chores or even a good grade on a test. They are working for your gratitude and to receive something later on from it. Not all gratification is money or a treat. Maybe a child knows dad works late and can’t play a video game with him/her until the garbage is taken out or the dishes are done. So, he/she does one of the tasks for dad in order to get that quality time.
- Chores help children to have a sense of purpose. Does your child ever hover over you as you’re doing work around the house? Well, having your child engage in household duties makes them feel like they have a sense of purpose. Children want to feel included so make sure you include them in anything that you can!
Ms. Vivian, who has been working at Math Genie for over 2 years now and Mr. Phillip, who has been here about 7 months, were asked two questions about how parents over-parent their children.
Q: What is a common mistake you see parents do in terms of catering to them too much?
A: Ms. Vivian “I see a number of mistakes that parents do at Math Genie. They carry their kids backpacks, do some of their kid’s homework because they think it is too difficult for their child, and accept “I don’t want to do it” as a reason that their child did not do their homework.”
A: Mr. Phillip: “A parent wants their kid to skip a grade book (catch up,) but their kid doesn’t know the material yet. I also see parents walking their children into class and taking out what they need for class for them, rather than having them do it themselves.”
Q: Do you think chores help a child’s mannerism especially in the classroom?
A: Ms. Vivian: “Yes it does because it teaches routine and a sense of responsibility at a young age. They can then apply this to their future.”
A: Mr. Phillip: “Yes. If the child does chores at home such as cleaning their room, they are more likely to be more organized and understand responsibilities.”
So just remember, assigning your child chores and tasks make for a strong, self-efficient, and successful child in the future!
Sources: Gregoire, Carolyn. "The 75-Year Study That Found The Secrets To A Fulfilling Life."
Healthy Living. The Huffington Post, 11 Aug. 2013. Web
Jr., Bill Murphy. "Kids Who Do Chores Are More Successful Adults." Inc.com. Inc., 29 Mar.
Lynthcott-Haims, Julie. "How to Raise Successful Kids without Over-parenting." Audio blog
post. TED, Nov. 2015. Web
"6 BIG Ways Your Children Benefit from Having Chores." Belly Belly, 20 Feb. 2015. Web.