Kids and Chores: What You Should Know

By Bethany Fischer on August 13, 2021

Every parent knows the complicated relationship between kids and chores. On one hand, kids need to be kids, and taking on adult responsibilities too early can be detrimental to their development. On the other hand, children need discipline, and it is important to teach them how to take care of themselves so they can thrive in the future. What is the right way to approach kids and chores?

The truth is that both of these statements are true, and the right way to handle the relationship between kids and chores is probably somewhere in the middle. The best way to incorporate chores into your children’s lives in a healthy way is to be informed. Read on to learn important information about kids and chores that will make your home life easier.

via Pexels

Chores Benefit Everyone

Even though most kids will complain about chores at some point in their lives, a good relationship between kids and chores is beneficial for everyone in the household. For parents, assigning chores to their children can take off some pressure and allow more time for family bonding experiences. For children, having chores to complete can help with development and future success.

According to a study by Michigan State, there are several benefits linked to kids and chores. They found that children who have regular chores improve:

  • Confidence

  • Self-efficacy

  • Self-control

  • Productivity

The study also found that establishing a routine with your child reduces the power struggle between parents and their kids. In addition to the developmental benefits, kids who do chores are learning how to care for themselves in the future and work and live with other people effectively.

Chores Should Be Age-Appropriate

The line between discipline and overworking can sometimes be fine if you are new to kids and chores. While assigning chores to your children can be beneficial, it can also be damaging if not done correctly. Kids are busier now more than ever, and putting too much on their plate can lead to unnecessary stress.

It is also important to consider chores that are appropriate for your child’s stage of development. You children can be taught to clean up after themselves by picking up their toys. However, they may not have the capacity to perform higher-level chores like cleaning, cooking, and caring for other family members. As your child gets older, they can take on more responsibility. Kids and chores should be looked at from a developmental standpoint and assigned accordingly.

Consistency is Key

Establishing good habits is hard. It is even harder for children who are still learning about impulse control and responsibility. When approaching kids and chores, it is important to remain consistent to establish the structure and routine that children thrive on. This can be difficult when kids cry or complain about completing the chores that they aren’t excited about.

How do you convince a kid to do their chores when they won’t listen? The best thing to do is to stay calm. It can be tempting to raise your voice and approach the situation aggressively to get the result that you want. However, reacting this way often makes the situation worse by escalating tension. You could even damage your relationship with your child by scaring them and breaking their trust. Have a plan of action when approaching kids can chores. Will you give options and negotiate? Will you use positive or negative reinforcements to get the job done? Whatever you decide, being prepared for difficult situations surrounding kids and chores is your best bet at getting through them successfully.

Allowance: To Give or Not To Give?

The age-old debate surrounding kids and chores is whether or not to financially reward your child for completing a job. Some families find that giving an allowance is a good incentive for finishing chores. Others feel that chores should be done without any kind of expected reward. Who is right in this debate?

There are pros and cons to paying your child an allowance. The honest answer is that every family benefits and thrives off of different systems. Knowing the pros and cons of an allowance may help you make this debate around kids and chores easier for your household.

Allowance Pros:

  • Teaches kids about financial responsibility

  • Provides incentive

  • Teaches about work and earning money

Allowance Cons:

  • Can be difficult for families with lower incomes

  • May discourage kids from helping out unless they are getting paid

  • May see chores as a “job” and not a necessary function of living in a household

There is no “right” answer to the allowance question. The best way to approach this situation is to consider what is best for your family and their needs.

Conclusion

Kids and chores come with the family package. There are many studies that suggest that assigning chores to your children is beneficial for them in the long run. However, there are correct ways to go about it, and making sure that your chores are age-appropriate is incredibly important. When it comes to kids and chores, being consistent is the best way to be successful. Like most things, what is best for your family might not be best for another, so consider all options before implementing structures like allowances into your family dynamic.

Having kids is a beautiful part of life that many families can’t wait to be a part of. Fostering a good relationship between kids and chores is one way to make this experience the best that it can be.

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