One Parenting Decision Can Make Your Child More Successful In Life

We have heard a lot in recent years about our younger generation and their feelings of entitlement and lack of work ethic.

Since our children learn by our example and guidance, it remains for parents to teach responsibility and the value of hard work while children are young.

And there is a vital lesson parents can teach their children at home — one that may seem insignificant but has lasting effects that will benefit them into adulthood.

The simple act of giving children chores at home can not only teach responsibility but other valuable life lessons — but it appears many American parents are not on board with the idea.

Parent.Co reported:

Unlike prior generations, most American parents today do not believe that their children should have to be responsible for household chores.

According to a survey by Braun Research in 2014, 82 percent of adults polled said they had regular chores when they were growing up, but only 28 percent asked their children to do any. 

With some parents feeling their children just don’t offer to help out, or that they expect everything handed to them, this shocking statistic could shed some light.

Giving children chores from the earliest age is their first experience with responsibility and being held accountable.

It gives them an appreciation of what it takes to run a household and allows for bonding of the family unit.  Chores are a precursor to the work we will all do as adults and help a child learn how to work efficiently and as part of a team.

So why aren’t more parents making their children do chores?

The reasons are unique and personal to each family, but include parents who “just want their kids to be kids,” children who have extremely busy schedules with school and extracurricular activities, whereby their parents feel they do not want to add anything else to their plate, or parents who “think it is just easier to do it themselves.”

And while every family takes a different approach to running their homes, studies show that giving children regular, age-appropriate chores is associated with social and emotional benefits that carry through into adulthood.

The Washington Post reports that author Ron Lieber, New York Times Your Money columnist, sees the trend of “decreasing chores and household responsibilities as “troubling,” given the clear findings that childhood chores yield clear positive benefits on a child’s social, developmental, and behavioral development.

Long-term studies have shown chores to be “a surprisingly influential factor that offered strong prediction of positive mental health in adulthood and professional success.”

Early responsibility, and the sense of accomplishment and pride that come with doing a job and doing it well helps children to be more successful later in life.

Studies also show that children as young as two or three can gain confidence, independence, and a sense of pride when doing simple things to help out the family.

Parent.Co continued:

When it comes to identifying the benefits of children taking on chores, Marty Rossmann of the University of Mississippi is often quoted for her work in this area.

Rossmann discovered that the way in which chores are presented can impact a child’s ability to become a well-adjusted adult. She recommends the following tips: tasks should not be too overwhelming, parents should present chores in a way that fits their child’s preferred learning style, and chores should show children about the importance of contributing to their family. 

Of course, many children will look at their chores with a sense of dread, thinking they are monotonous and boring, but we can teach our children to approach tasks to create a positive experience that will also help the child’s outlook on work as an adult.

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There are many ways to reinforce the end goals of hard work with our children, such as giving praise and emphasizing a sense of accomplishment, but experts agree that paying children an allowance as a reward for chores is a hot-button topic.

Some parents feel that giving an allowance is a precursor to teaching kids the value of money when they begin working later in life.  Others feel that children should be helping out in the household because it is their responsibility as part of the family.

Parent.Co reports that Marty Rossman “does not think a financial allowance is a good idea, but this is a controversial topic with many perspectives that parents can explore. Finally, the earlier parents begin getting children to take an active role in helping out at home, the easier it will be to get them involved as they get older.”

And the Washington Post reports Ron Liebersays most kids are “not even close” to doing the amount of chores they should be doing. And, he says, “they should be doing them as part of their normal family duties because it’s the right thing to do, and not as a way to earn allowance.”

Whatever your parental approach to household chores for your children, getting them active and involved in helping to care for the home and family can be a strong influence on their work ethic and sense of responsibility in their future endeavors.

How do you approach chores for your children?

Do you have a favorite system for the whole family?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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