Some parents like to use a family chore chart because it means that the kids are chipping in around the house. It takes a few of the boring day-to-day things out of their hands, and shares out the work.
We can’t disagree with that! But giving children chores actually has several other benefits for your children.
Only 28% of parents are giving children chores at all, according to some reports. We believe the other 72% are missing out on opportunities to teach their kids some really important lessons.
Here are 5 ways a family chore chart can help out your household.
1. They Learn About Organizing and Managing
When they’re doing chores and filling in the chart, they’re getting structure for their day. We’re not saying chores have to go on all day! But the fact that the family chore chart gives them a routine helps them to develop a sense of responsibility.
As they get older, let your children decide who’s doing what job. Most children enjoy filling in the chart themselves. And this way, they learn about time management and become better at organizing things.
You can also choose to allow them to trade or negotiate for work with each other. They’ll appreciate each other’s efforts more and learn about teamwork.
Don’t let the bigger ones ‘buy off’ the little ones with sweets in exchange for their work! That’s not going to teach them the right lessons.
But if they want to swap jobs from time to time, they can do that. Or pass off a job if they’re busy with homework, in exchange for taking one off their sibling’s hands in the future.
2. It Makes Them Feel Important
By doing tasks around the house, your children are contributing to your family’s day-to-day home life.
There may be some resistance to the family chore chart to start with. But once they settle into the routine, your children will feel like they matter as a part of the family group. This raises their self-esteem and makes them feel important.
It’s also about self-empowerment, and learning the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.
And the more they realise that their contribution makes a difference for Mom and Dad, the happier they’ll feel when they complete a task.
Well, most of the time!
3. They Will Learn New Skills
By doing chores, your children are learning many new skills. We’ve already touched on time management and organizational ability.
But they’ll also learn how to do undertake all their chores in a sensible and efficient way.
It’s important to pick age appropriate chores.
A toddler can be encouraged to tidy up after themselves and put toys away. Don’t believe for a moment that this is ‘too young’, either. Research shows that giving chores to children as young as 3 years old has benefits for both the child and their parents.
Children approaching double digits can help with some simple and fun food preparation. Under your careful supervision.
And those who are a little bit older might help carry groceries. Or so a bit of shopping by themselves, with a list you provide. And mow the lawn too.
You need to inspect their work to begin with to make sure they’re doing it right. They won’t be doing it perfectly at first. But don’t take over to save yourself having to nag them.
If you do that, they’ll never learn how to do things in the correct way. Sometimes they might do a less than great job thinking you’ll take over – kids will be kids.
Take a firm stance against this, but don’t be afraid to show them exactly how to do it. Then watch as they do it themselves. Offer praise to motivate them and express your delight at a job well done.
If they see themselves as being good at something, they’re more likely to do it again.
4. It Gives Them a Work Ethic and Self-Discipline
It’s useful to tie chores to a reward of some kind. It makes sense to positively reinforce good behavior when your children have completed each set of chores, or a certain number of chores.
This doesn’t have to be excessive at all. For example, you might say that if your three-year-old puts away all their toys neatly, they’ll be rewarded by you putting on their favorite film (again).
Or that if your ten-year-old helps you wash the car this morning, you’ll take them out to the park in the afternoon.
This work-and-reward system results in a good attitude towards work. Which will help them in their working life.
5. They’ll be More Successful as Adults
There is research to suggest that routine chores around the house result in children being more successful as adults.
One study, conducted over the course of 25 years, tracked a group of children from a young age into adulthood. Children given chores from a young age were more likely to be successful in their mid to late twenties.
This proves that chores aren’t just about getting to put your feet up for a bit while the kids take care of the house.
How to Set up Your Family Chore Chart
First, you need a dry erase chore chart – we’ve got several to choose from. You can use this over and over again, wiping off the chores on Monday and counting up for any rewards on Sunday.
You’ll also need dry markers, to mark off chores which are complete. Or for children around the age of 5 or 6, invest in some colorful peelable stickers or magnets to mark off the chores.
They should respond well to these. Do make sure your children are old enough before using these though, as magnets pose a choking hazard.
Next, assign the chores! We know this can cause a few arguments – but as we’ve explained, it’s for your children’s own good.
Contact us if you have any questions!