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05/17/15

Lessons learned: Do chores for kids really do anything?

As a child, you learned the value of a dollar through doing chores at home.
Any grown adult can recall the days of carrying the garbage to the curb, washing dishes, folding laundry or doing pretty much anything mom and dad asked. The end result as a kid was to earn a few dollars, your allowance, on a weekly or bi weekly basis.
Allowances seems so archaic in this day and age as most new parents of this generation aren't associating chores and at home work with making money. Just for a second, forget about the money element of chores and ask yourself the question as it relates to kids and giving them responsibility that goes above and beyond playing and going to school.
Do chores really matter?
For most parents, chores aren't so much about getting work done that they don't want to do but rather the act of kids having some to be held accountable for, in addition in some small way preparing them for life beyond the safe confines of mom and dad's home.

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How many times have you talked to an adult who doesn't know how to run a washing machine? What about the grown man or woman who can't boil rice or make a grilled cheese sandwich? Parents assigning chores is about showing kids at an early age how to be a fully functioning adult without having to depend on mom or dad for just about everything. Creating and cultivating an independent, intelligent adult is priority number one on most parents' list when they think about their children and what they want for them: success, happiness, security, all of which come from knowing how to take care of yourself and learn the difference between hard work and goals versus expectations that never come to fruition.
Chores also give kids the feeling that they're worthwhile to the overall scheme of the household. Granted, that may seem like a bit of a stretch statement considering kids are supposed to focus on being kids and not an itinerary that includes mopping and wiping down the kitchen. That said, self worth as it relates to kids is paramount and giving them a few things to do around the house gives them that sense of pride and importance that they're doing something for the greater good, and it gives parents the opportunity to shower them with praise for a job well done, another self esteem booster.
This isn't to suggest that chores or lack thereof are going to ultimately determine the type of child you raise. But having them as part of the equation certain isn't going to do any harm as they get older and realize just how much something menial can actually matter.

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