Chores. You hate assigning them, you hate following up that they are done, you hate the crying, pouting, and temper tantrums that accompany them, and let's not think about how much time it takes to get them done when you could do it in far less time.
As you scrunch up your face, have an internal nervous breakdown; try to remember that this is as important to a child's development and success as school, playing, athletics, learning how to socialize with others, etc. If chores are not added to a child's life then their future success, drive, and work ethic are in question. You can't expect a child to all of a sudden be able to function as an adult with no tools for what it takes to be an adult, or an independent college student.
10 Benefits to chores:
- Chores are a great way to boost self-esteem. Nothing feels better then doing a job well and knowing what you did was helpful.
- Encourages independence especially when parents acknowledge a job well done and when a child does a task without being asked. They fill accomplishment and satisfaction.
- Completing chores for a child will assist a child to learn that success is finishing a job even though you may not like it.
- It teaches a child how much it takes to keep a home clean, and that they are part of a family a community that takes care of one another.
- Responsibilities are shared and not just up to mom and dad.
- It will ease the challenges of parenting as children get older.
- Chores teach teamwork.
- Chores teach the importance of organization and that items are easier to find when you keep them organized and put away.
- Kids will learn what it means to be part of a group and that working together is better then doing something alone.
- Chores will ultimately give parents more free time, and if chores begin early kids will be able to get themselves organized for school, understand expectations, and how to do things on their own and become self-sufficient.
Simple tasks should begin at a very young age from the time kids begin walking. Children should be able to put their own toys away after each activity that involves toys, paper, scissors, etc. by 2 years old. No question they should be able, and should be expected to, do simple chores. Children will be happier adults if they know how to do chores now, and chores get really easy when children are taught to do them young because expectations are set up for them. Oh yes, you'll get complaining but it isn't like it would be if chores start at an early age. When parents don't make their children responsible to clean up after themselves the house is a disaster, parents are frazzled, and the full responsibility for children's rooms, laundry, finding stuff, organizing etc fall fully on the shoulders of the already overworked parents. At the age of 10+ kids should be expected to contribute to maintenance of the the household and their own things. This is not fair to the child or the parent and everyone pays the price with emotions running high and patience running low.
When I was little some of my most fond memories were doing chores with my siblings, and even helping my mom can vegetables in Fall. We'd share stories about stuff that happened during the day and laugh. We'd play practical jokes on each other and our parents. My mom would share stories about her life with our grandma and grandpa that were fun to hear. Doing chores together as a family was such a nice time of bonding.
If you want your children to be successful adults you need to begin when they are your children not just by teaching them formal book education, but by giving them responsibilities (chores), working side by side, sharing memories, love and time. Chores can be a wonderful opportunity to bond as a family.