I read an article that talked about the things that parents of successful children have in common. I decided to take each of the 10 topics one by one and expand on them as well as start a conversation on my Facebook page at my regular Friday Live Stream.
Our first discovery was this: Parents of Successful Children make their children do chores.
It's backed by science and the evidence is clear: Children who do chores when young have a better chance of growing to be successful adults.
As parents, we have different opinions about whether or not we should make our kids do housework and there have even been arguments about whether we should pay our children an allowance for doing their chores.
(You can join that conversation on my Facebook page.)
However you approach it, there are several benefits of getting your child to do chores around the house:
We get help around the house:
This can be a pitfall because sometimes as a parent you want a job done well so you just go ahead and do it yourself. This may be convenient in the short term but you are doing your child (or teenager) a disservice if you continue to pick up after them, do their laundry and so on. They may not get it done perfectly at first but if we are patient with them, they will get better at the little jobs.
You are teaching them teamwork
When a child does chores around the house - no matter how small, they get to learn that a big job gets done when everybody does their bit. This is a great for their adult life - both at home and work.
You make them self-sufficient and self-confident.
They learn that they can take care of themselves. Clean up after themselves. shop for themselves, cook for themselves and so on. Who wouldn't want to hire someone with the above qualities? Who wouldn't want to be married to someone like that. This is why I always say the home is the first classroom. Teach your children. It may not look like it all the time but they are learning from you.
They learn responsibility
This is similar to self sufficiency. When a child know that a particular job is "assigned" to him, he begins to take ownership of that job. This is the beginning of responsibility. When they know that if they don't do that thing, no one else will do it and it won't get done.
They learn about Structure
If your child does a chore every day or once a week or every morning or every evening, it gives them some structure to their life. They learn about structure and about priorities. They get the security of a routine and learn to differentiate between time for work and time for play.
They get a sense of fulfilment.
One cannot dispute the sense of achievement when a job is finished and you get a well done. As a parent, always remember to say well done, to your kids - young or old.
They become self-disciplined and self-directed.
Discipline is simply doing what needs to be done even when you don't feel like it. When your child does chores, he or she may not feel like doing it all the time, but as time goes on, it becomes natural for them to fulfil their commitments and build the habit of discipline.
And in conclusion:
We love our children and we don't want them to struggle in later life in their marriages, relationships, careers or businesses. We don't want them to be dependent on others to the extent that they cannot stand on their own two feet. We certainly don't want them to have a false sense of entitlement.
The fact is, it is not even the weight of the workload on your child that matters. What matters is that they learn that this thing is their job and they have to do it daily or weekly. When you look all these benefits of doing chores at home, it is easy to see how doing chores can help your child develop habits and qualities that will cause them excel in academic, business and career pursuits in later life.
I would love to hear your thoughts or questions on this.