If you have kids in your home, you probably have a to-do list that’s a mile long. The good news is that there are many benefits of kids chores. So go ahead and delegate some of those chores—your kids may thank you for it later. We’ll go through them here and then offer some examples of chores.
When Should Kids Start Doing Chores?
Assigning chores can happen earlier than you think. Even 2-year-olds can learn they have tasks and participate in a routine. Chores for very young children serve to help set up good behavior patterns.
You can’t tell your toddler to put away their toys, walk away, and expect it to happen while you’re gone. You can get down on the floor with them and have them help you do that task, though.
Let the level of sophistication of your assigned chores grow with your children. As your kids get older, they may even have a preference for the chores they’re given. While pet care is not advisable for young children, an older child may enjoy checking water levels and letting your pet outside.
Remember that the benefits of kids chores aren’t to help make your life easier. Yes, that’s sometimes the case, but many times you may have to repeat the chore, or your child needs help accomplishing it.
Assigning chores is about helping your child become self-sufficient, increasing their sense of worth, and giving them the opportunity to contribute.
Eight Great Benefits of Kids Chores
Still feeling guilty about distributing some of the household duties? Here’s why you might not want to skimp on assigning chores to your kids.
1. Teach Your Kids Life Skills
Chores can be a great vehicle for teaching your child life skills. You won’t always be there to help them load and unload the dishwasher or sort a pile of laundry. They may be complaining about collecting their dirty clothes and learning how to fold now. These skills will be invaluable for them later on, though.
2. Help Build a Solid Work Ethic
Another one of the great benefits of kids chores? Chores at a young age can help give your child small daily goals they need to achieve. This can give them a sense of accomplishment while also improving their work ethic.
Accomplishing chores is also frequently associated with receiving a reward. Whether it’s playtime after dinner or an allowance, this can help your child understand the value of their work and effort. Building a good work ethic will benefit your child through their academic experiences as well as in their future careers.
3. Strengthen Time Management
Time management skills are essential to your child. Assigning chores helps them learn how to prioritize and understand how much time actually goes into getting things done. This will be a huge asset for them later as they try to balance fun, school, friends, and responsibilities.
4. Function as a Team-Building Exercise
Assigning chores to help keep the house running smoothly allows your child to feel like a participating member of the family. They’ll feel productive and like a real team member. This can allow them to feel valued for their contribution.
Don’t underestimate how important this “team” approach can be once your child reaches their teen years. Many families fracture during that time period—strengthening the team early on can help prevent a “them versus us” mentality later on.
5. Encourage Respect
Running around after your children can feel like thankless work. You may feel unseen and like your work isn’t valued. Giving your children chores helps them recognize just what it is you’ve been doing behind the scenes. They can help your child be more aware of the messes they create and how much time you spend picking up after them.
6. Inspire Empathy
Help your child learn how to anticipate how they can help others by assigning them chores. Chores can help your child more fully understand how to relate to others and what they can do to help. Empathy is a skill that can be hard to learn but will be invaluable to your child as they grow.
7. Teach Responsibility
When your children are assigned chores, you’re also assigning them a set of expectations. Those expectations will lead to one of two things. You’ll either be pleased with their effort or you’ll be disappointed in their lack of effort.
These expectations can help your child begin to process how their choice of actions shapes others’ response to them. It can encourage responsibility and give them a better understanding of cause and effect.
8. Create Family Bonds
You may find assigning your children chores doesn’t entirely remove them from your wheelhouse. Especially if you’re working with young children, you may need to be just as present while doing chores as if you were doing them alone. You may even find it takes you just a little bit longer to get things done.
The good news is that the whole time you’re accomplishing things together, you’re building a family rapport. You get to see how much your children are growing and just what they’re capable of. In return, they get to add these moments with you to their memory databank.
Examples of Kids Chores
Want to get in on the benefits of kids chores? Looking for some examples of kids chores to help get your kids started on their new chore schedule? Here are some great things to put on the list for your kids:
- Picking up toys: Children are notorious for taking out their toys, only to abandon them and reach for something new. Instead of letting them leave a trail of disaster in their wake, have them clean up after themselves.
- Yard work: Giving your kids chores in the yard will help get them out of the house and appreciating nature. Not only will they benefit from the extra vitamin D, but you’ll also appreciate the company while weeding, bagging leaves, or watering the garden.
- Laundry: Even if your child isn’t old enough to run their laundry themselves, they can put their clothes in the hamper. Not capable of folding on their own? Kids are great at sorting socks and more than capable of taking their own laundry up to their room.
- Dishes: Get creative in the kitchen. Keep your kids’ dishes and cups somewhere they can easily reach. They can help you unload the dishwasher and replenish their designated area. Have your kids clear the table and put their dishes in the sink after meals.
- Vacuuming and sweeping: You’d be surprised how many kids love the opportunity to operate a vacuum or use a broom. Give them a chance to give it a try, although be prepared to do a follow-up clean.
- Getting themselves ready: Picking out their clothes, dressing themselves, brushing their teeth—these are all great examples of kids chores. They’ll be able to learn basic self-care skills while also giving them a sense of control over their daily activities and choices.
Take a good look at what your family needs on a daily basis, then go ahead and incorporate some of those things into your kids’ routines. There’s no wrong or right way to incorporate chores into your kids’ schedule. Homework, personal hygiene, and household tasks are all examples of kids chores.
Assigning Chores to Your Kids
If you’ve been delaying giving your kids chores, it’s clear you don’t have to any longer. Chores can be a great skill-teaching vehicle that provides your child with a sense of value.
Go ahead and sprinkle a few chores into your kids’ schedule. You may be surprised at the benefits of kids chores and the good it can do for them—and your family.