Sunny warm day, the child just came home from school. The series of lessons has ended, there is still so much free time ahead, you just need to change and you can run outside to play with friends, he thinks.
And then his mother’s voice comes from the kitchen, reminding him that first he needs to clean the room, and then go to the grocery store. Household chores … They are again!
In this situation, you want to take the side of the child, protect him, tell his mother that such a day should not be missed! Cleaning can wait until tomorrow, and you can go for groceries in the evening. In general, then, all later, and now – run into the street!
Of course, many parents do this. The child dodges homework once, twice, and after a while he even declares that slavery was abolished in such and such a century, and for some reason he must work for free.
As a teacher, I can say that in the case of a sunny day, you can find a compromise and come to an agreement with your child. But when parents completely shift all household chores onto themselves, and the child does not even want to put toys in the closet, they do not realize what mistake they make and how it might turn out in the child’s life in the future.
3 skills a child learns by doing household chores
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Ability to manage your time
Doing housework contributes to the development of many of the basic skills needed to be successful in life. Doing simple tasks such as folding clothes or helping to make the bed can improve coordination and motor skills in young children.
Doing housework also improves your child’s ability to follow directions and helps develop planning and organizing skills as well as time management skills.
Many studies show that children who do household chores also have high academic performance.
Sense of responsibility
Housework also helps children develop a sense of responsibility. When children help their parents, they develop a sense of independence and the realization that everyone in their family is responsible for something, so they understand that they are contributing to the well-being of the whole family.
Successful household chores also contribute to the development of self-esteem and belonging.
When parents do everything, children may feel dependent on others or may expect something to be done for them.
A sense of independence
Learning about self-care and home help helps children become more independent and ready for the freedom that comes as they get older.
By doing housework, they become more independent.
For example, by helping parents in the kitchen, they learn to cook, and by spending time with pets, they learn to care for them.
How to explain to a child the importance of household chores?
When the topic of household chores comes up, it is important to remind the children that there is a reason why we call household chores “work” or “housework.” Yes, it’s work.
Most people, including parents, do not like household chores, but they still need to be done. You can ask the children what household chores their parents are doing, and then ask them what the house would be like if those chores were not done.
In the 21st century, many children are obsessed with computers and telephones, which means that it is more difficult to teach them to do housework. They hate any activity that can take a few minutes away from them with electronic devices.
In this case, it is important to explain to the children that activities related to personal hygiene, homework, and helping the family or pet should come first.
When the duties are completed, if there is time left, it can be used for recreational activities. As they say: “Business before pleasure”.
Does my child need to pay to do housework?
Some parents think they should pay their children to do housework. But educators agree that children should do housework for the same reason as adults, i.e. because this work needs to be done, not because they will receive compensation.
Money can be given to children to teach them how much things are worth, or to teach them how to budget, not as a reward for a housework well done.
Instead of monetary rewards, children should receive praise and gratitude for helping around the house. For example, you might say:
- “I love the way you put all the toys in their place.”
- “I’m glad you did your job without being reminded.”
- “You are really good at making your bed.”
Children should also be taught to feel good about themselves and be proud of their abilities, their independence, and their contributions to the family.
But you need to praise children from time to time, and sometimes it’s enough to just thank them or say that you are proud of them. The point is that constant praise deprives them of initiative and personal responsibility.
At what age can children start helping around the house?
The sooner your child starts helping you and realizing his personal responsibility, the better. It is important to remember that housework should be appropriate for your child’s age and development:
- Toddlers (2-3 years old) can put toys in a closet, clothes in a basket, fill food for cats or dogs.
- Preschoolers (ages 3-5) can help clear the table, water flowers, or dust with a rag.
- Elementary school children (ages 6-9) can sweep floors, load the dishwasher, or clean their room.
- Middle school students (10-13 years old) can wash household items, cook food, or take out the trash.
- High school students (over 14 years old) can wash the refrigerator, iron clothes or take care of pets.
It is never too late to help your child learn to be self-sufficient and responsible. In the future, he will probably thank you for your help in acquiring valuable skills and developing wonderful qualities. This is essential for a happy and successful life.
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