uhhhhh mooooom noooooo! i don’t want to! i want to go play, i want to see my friends, i want to watch a show, i want to…anything but chores! (feel free to add in a stomp here, or an eye roll, or a big sigh.)
sound familiar? it’s the age-old struggle right? kids and chores.
it’s no secret that chores are not exactly top of the list when it comes to our kids’ favorite things. and let’s face it, chores aren’t at the top of our lists as Moms either. the fact remains however, chores must get done.
but some days it would be easier to give up, right? to just do it ourselves. or give in to the mess, shut the door, dream of hiring help, pretend it’s not there or that you’ll have more energy to deal with it tomorrow (never true).
i am sure we all have our reasons behind wanting our kids to pitch in and help. maybe you want your kids to:
- learn responsibility
- understand what it takes to run a household
- work together
- take care of their things
- appreciate what they have
not to mention you want your kids to help to save your own sanity because one Mom cannot do all the straightening, picking up, and organizing for everyone without losing her mind.
but sometimes when we are in the thick of it, it is easy to lose sight of our reasons. so if you are growing weary as you fight the never ending chore battle, i have a bit of encouragement for you today!
you’ve probably heard bits and pieces on the benefits of kids doing chores. but have you ever actually looked up what the experts say? recently, i’ve done some light reading on the subject, because sometimes i just need to hear it from the experts that i am fighting the good fight!
and because i know you probably don’t have time to look it up yourself, i have some good news…i put together a little summary for you and i think it just might give you the boost you need as you ask someone to please pick up their shoes for the 1,000th time.
what the experts are saying about kids and chores
marty rossmann, university of minnesota study
marty rossman, an emeritus associate professor of family education at the university of minnesota, conducted a study that ultimately found, “involving children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. by involving children in tasks, parents teach their children a sense of responsibility, competence, selfreliance, and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives.”
now, i think that finding isn’t totally surprising. but my favorite part of the study was that rossman also looked at the relationship between involving children in chores and their future success in the following areas: completion of education, getting started on a career path, IQ, relationships with family and friends, and not using drugs.
here, she determined that “the best predictor of young adults’ success [in the above areas] in their mid-20s was that they participated in household tasks when they were three or four. however, if they did not begin participating until they were 15 or 16, the participation backfired and those subjects were less “successful.”
i think the takeaway here is the earlier we start teaching and allowing our kids to help around the house…the better! AND “the better” refers to more than just being better at responsibility. this study showed success in education, relationships, and not using drugs!
so be encouraged Mama, the reminding and the redoing and the arguments are worth it…but stay tuned till the end of this post if you are SICK OF the reminding and nagging because i have a game-changer of a solution for you!
to read more about rossmann’s study, click HERE.
julie lythcott-haims, former dean of freshmans and undergraduate advising at Stanford University
in her book How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims discusses how household chores help kids build responsibility, autonomy, and perseverance, skills that are essential to becoming a productive adult.
in a boston globe article, she is quoted as saying, “not giving kids chores deprives them of the satisfaction of applying their effort to a task and accomplishing it.” she also explains that, “having to fit in chores can also help kids learn to manage their time. while it can be tempting to give kids a pass on busy homework nights, real life is going to require them to do all of these things. when they’re at a job, there might be times that they have to work late, but they’ll still have to go grocery shopping and do the dishes.”
sidenote – this is the 3rd time i’ve heard about this book in 2 weeks. i think it is a sign and it is headed to my amazon cart. also, i like the idea here of thinking of this in reverse…NOT giving our kids chores to do is actually NOT helping them! and i love her take on NOT skipping chores when life is busy because that is actually how real life works.
to read more of this article titled sparing kids spoils children click HERE.
richard bromfield, psychologist and on the faculty of harvard medical school
richard bromfield, author of the book How to Unspoil Your Child Fast, says “if your kids don’t have regular chores now, it’s never too late to get them started.”
in the same boston globe article, he is quoted as recommending to, “have a clear idea of what you would like your kids to do and discuss it matter-of-factly. if your kids are older, you’ll probably need to approach the discussion and follow through with greater clarity, firmness, and consistency.”
and THIS brings me to some more good news!
for years, my kids and i have been perfecting our own Chore System here at our house. it started when my oldest was 4. after stalling for months, trying to decide how to organize chores, researching cute ways to write them down, and dragging my feet as i looked at pinterest, i quit procrastinating and instead used everything i knew as a mom AND teacher to create a super simple, no frills job chart.
and guess what?
it is now 6 years later and all three of my kids (ages 10, 8, and 3) participate in the exact same super simple Chore System and it is still working every. single. day. even better? it’s working for hundreds of other moms now too!
so what’s the secret?
i am the first to admit that many other things do not work smoothly here at our home. dinner, for example. i am the world’s most basic cook. so if you come over for dinner, you will probably have chicken nuggets. but you will see beds that are made, sinks that are clean, and toys and shoes that are picked up before that dinner happens because CHORES are something that does work around here.
the secret is simplicity. when a Chore System is complicated, no one does it. but when it is simple and your time has been spent on a few RIGHT things, you can have a system that works for your family and GROWS WITH YOU for years to come.
so after years of walking friends and family through our system, making tweaks and making sure this is something that is doable for ALL Moms…i am so excited to tell you that you can learn more, look inside the system, and grab it for your family ON SALE RIGHT HERE.
yay! your chore life just got easier!