By Guest Blogger Elisa D. Wallace with Forsyth Family magazine

While not many enjoy doing household chores, these tasks are vital for a home to run smoothly and efficiently. Although for the most part, the adults of the house take on the larger responsibilities, there are plenty of smaller tasks that also need attention. Who better to take on these everyday jobs than our children?

Although as a mother, I can easily see the benefit for assigning household tasks, not all parents agree with me. Numerous parents want their kids to enjoy their childhood, free of the burdens of adult duties. Others may see their children as being less capable of properly completing the needed jobs. They worry that the laundry will get messed up, or the dishes will not be put back in the correct place. Regardless of the opinions, why should one consider assigning chores to their tikes? Read on for six reasons explaining the strong benefits for assigning children chores.

Reason #1: Chores help build a hard-work ethic. Having a strong work ethic is a value needed in the real world by teachers and bosses. Why not instill this ethic into a child at a young age? One can choose to reward their child with an allowance. This can teach children that a job well done leads to a reward, sparking their entrepreneurial spirit. Ultimately, this can have a snowball effect, where these children seek a job once they are a teen, then eventually as an adult.

Reason #2: Chores help children gain self-esteem. There is nothing better for a child than feeling the praise of an adult. This praise helps instill self-esteem in children, which can later lead to productive adults. Multiple studies have shown that kids who help at home are more confidant, resilient, and compassionate. Ultimately, these children will do better in school, and grow up into more successful young adults.

Reason #3: Teamwork begins with chores. A child’s family is their first true “team.” With this said, the lesson of why one should strive to be a productive member of a team can be taught early on. Consider this, if all members of your family “team” are accountable to each other, there can be consequences when you don’t meet each other’s expectations. Learning these lessons at home, where mistakes are more easily forgiven, can help kids develop strong teamwork skills to use at school or work.

Reason #4: Time management can be taught. In the real world, one does not have the luxury of turning in an assignment, or meeting a deadline, “when they feel like it.” Why not teach children time-management skills early on? When older kids learn how to juggle household chores with their other duties—like homework and sports—this helps them set their priorities and manage time. In the end, this helps kids develop into time-honoring adults.

Reason #5: Respect can be reinforced. When a child is required to pick up his or her room, or wash the dishes, they begin to gain insight into all the other tasks their parents perform. Kids will later become more aware of the messes they make if they’re tasked with cleaning up around the house. In the end, they learn to respect the hard work that goes into maintaining a home.

Reason #6: Life skills can’t always be taught at school. While math, English, science, and history are all readily taught at area schools, the household tasks needed to run a successful home are not. Requiring children to complete certain tasks helps teach them these jobs. Chores like laundry, vacuuming, loading the dishwasher, and feeding the pets are skills that everyone needs in their life. Why not teach these to younger generations early on?

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