While on the surface it may seem like having your child do chores is simply about teaching them to pick up after themselves, assigning chores teaches your child is much more than that. Every child has a need to feel like they belong and has the desire to know that they play a special role in their family.
When children are assigned chores, those needs can be met. When considering the value of assigning age appropriate chores, remember these 5 hidden benefits:
1. Children who do chores regularly have increased self esteem. When a child feels like they make a significant contribution to something that benefits more than just them, they feel good! Knowing that what they do counts and matters helps to increase self esteem.
2. Children who do chores regularly have a sense of belonging to a community. Children have the need to feel loved and accepted. If they don’t find love and acceptance inside their home, they will look for it somewhere else. When children are given tasks that help keep the family going, they are able to identify with being part of a community.
3. Children who do chores regularly learn the value of teamwork. If the chores don’t get done, you can’t move onto what’s next in the day. When everyone is required to pitch in and do their part, a real understanding of teamwork unfolds.
4. Children who do chores regularly feel like what they have to contribute matters. When a child is assigned a task, regardless of how big or small, it’s their responsibility to do it. If they don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. Knowing that only they can fulfill their responsibility teaches them that what they do, or don’t do, matters.
5. Children who do chores regularly learn the value of taking care of their belongings. When children are given the responsibility to care for their things, they tend to take better care of them. Learning the importance of taking care of the things that are given to you is an important life lesson that assigning chores can help teach.
The next time you feel a twinge of guilt about assigning chores to your child, don’t! Whether it is helping to set the table, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or putting away toys, children can play an active role in helping to keep the home running smoothly and reap many real life benefits in the process.