Fewer and fewer children are participating in household chores. According to a survey reported a few years back in the Daily Mail, as many as 25 percent of kids between 5 and 16 don’t lift a finger around the house. And for a fifth of those who do chip in, help equals tidying their bedroom. Hardly pulling their weight, is it?
Whereas we, the parents, remember doing simple tasks around the house when we were young, we now seem reluctant to include our children in the cleaning schedule. Why? Some say it’s because the school and extracurricular activities already require a lot of participation from the kids, so they don’t want to burden the kids anymore. However, scientific research says that’s a disservice for our young ones.
Next time you halt before you ask your child to wash the car, hoover or dust, bear this in mind. Helping around the house will teach them important life skills that increase their self-esteem and chances of success in later life. Having some responsibility towards the whole family sends a message that they are important contributors.
But, maybe you already know that age-appropriate chores are beneficial for your children. Maybe you’re having trouble making them do it. Here are some tips that could help with this responsibility going down smoothly with your little ones:
- Be specific about the task and demonstrate it, i.e. instead of saying globally: “You’ll do some dusting today”, say “You’ll dust the coffee table, the bookcases, the side tables, etc.”
- Be positive even if they don’t do a wonderful job the first time around. You can say something like: “OK, next time, let’s pay attention to this.”
- Ask them to help you do something together.
- With little children, you may try singing along while doing the activity. You can also make a competition of the tasks, but be careful with this if you have a competitive child.
- Opinions are divided whether or not you should tie in a financial reward with house chores. There are valid pros and cons of both sides, so you have to decide for yourself. Just be consistent.
That is so interesting. I think it is really important to get children helping out from an early age as they learn important skills. My problem is that sometimes it is easier to do things myself so I forget to ask them to do things.
I’m going to save this, it’s so useful. Max is great at helping out when he wants to, so we are going to use this list to encourage a bit more.
Thanks for this, you’ve given me some ideas. We were only saying the other day that the kids should do more to help around the house. We do far too much for them that they could be doing themselves. It’s time to start teaching them to help out more and this is a great guide for starters.
Thankfully my boys are very good about pitching in – they actually really enjoy it I think! The only thing they are hopeless at is finding things. Honestly, they can stare something in the face and not know they’re looking at it!
If they can operate an iPad… is my mantra 😉 Still, it’s not easy to get them on it. I wonder why they are doing less than I did often!
I need to get mine doing more chores, they have it far too easy! I just find it easier if I do it myself, atleast it gets done properly lol
I am in the process of getting them to put their own clothes away – they seem to struggle with hangers
This is a really useful list. I’m trying hard to encourage my children to help around the house more, it’s not always easy though. x