6 Tips to Making Children's Chores Meaningful

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The Journal Of Developmental Psychology published a study that showed that kids who spent more time doing household chores reported greater levels of happiness than kids who spent less time doing chores. They believe that kids who participate in family life through assigned tasks feel more valued and connected to other family members. Chores help define children’s identity and add an early sense of meaning to life.

A few tips to helping your child approach chores:

  1. Start young – If a child can carry, they can help out. Maybe it’s as simple as getting a paper towel roll when the other is empty or putting away toys after playtime.
  2. Match their skill level – You don’t want to frustrate them with a task that is too difficult. Be sure that they can comfortably perform what is being asked.
  3. Value their effort – They might not clean an area as perfectly as an adult would, so be encouraging rather than expecting perfection.
  4. Give choices – You can rotate jobs, allow them to pick chores or draw chores out of a hat.
  5. Don’t pay money – Mom and dad don’t get paid to fold laundry, do dishes, walk the dog or mow the lawn. It is what is expected in family life. Keep allowance separate from everyday task completion.
  6. Choose words wisely – Chores may have a negative connotation for some children. You can call these tasks jobs. This gives the child a sense of accomplishment because they are doing a job that helps the whole family.

What tips do you have for children helping around the house?

2 Responses to “6 Tips to Making Children's Chores Meaningful”

  1. Donna Warrington April 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    These are great tips, thank you….we just started my four year old granddaughter doing chores, cleaning up her toys…..I will remember these as they apply to her as she gets older.

    Thank you,
    Donna Warrington

  2. Steph A April 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    I like the choose your words wisely tip. I think sometimes it’s about how you present chores I think kids generally like to help out especially if you frame the chores in a fun positive way!