A 2014 Braun Research study surveyed 1,001 U.S. adults and found 82 percent had regular chores as youth, but only 28 percent mandate the same for their children.
I’ve written about this topic in a different way in the past, so it was refreshing to see another writer taking the time to drive home some great points about how chores affect our children. Wall Street Journal contributor Jennifer Wallace penned this post about Why Children Need Chores.
It’s an interesting read, but is behind the WSJ paywall, so I’ll share some highlights and give a few opinions as well. Wallace says that doing kid’s who do chores have an advantage later in life academically, emotionally, and even professionally.
I think that Wallace has the right idea for the most part in this article, especially when she says that we, as parents, should reframe how we ask our kids to do their chores. Instead of “do your chores”, she suggests “let’s do our chores.” I really like this because it’s a great way to model hard work for our kids and let them know that it’s the whole family that has to keep the house in order.
Additionally, Wallace states that chores are important for children to build self-reliance, confidence and a positive work ethic. I agree with this as well, and can attest to it when it comes to my own children as they get older and are preparing to get jobs. That positive work ethic is more likely to stick if it begins at a young age at home.
She also suggests that parents look to “gamify” the chore process, and of course we are on board for that, it’s a big part of what we do at ChoreMonster.
Finally, Wallace says that children should not be paid for chores because “Parents don’t get paid for helping around the house.” Of course, not every task and duty around the house is a situation where a reward is available, but I can’t agree that our kids should not be rewarded for their hard work. After all, if we are preparing them for the real world and building their work ethic, shouldn’t they be rewarded? I’m not sure how long many of us would last without a paycheck at our jobs.
Overall though, it’s nice to see this subject popping up on large sites like the Wall Street Journal and we hope the message of chores helping to positively shape our children continues to be a theme.