Chores and why children need to do them
Often wondered how perfectly happy kids turn out to be feckless, irresponsible, and indifferent towards the family? Many people have. Specifically, many parents have wondered what they could have done, which lead to their children being so ill-tempered, irrational, and uncaring. While these problems have multiple roots, often enough, the source of the problem is quite simple. The child was not given responsibility from a very young age.
Children need to be taught their roles as a member of the family from a very young age. Not only does it teach them to be responsible, it also makes them feel more attuned towards the family, because they’re actively contributing to family-work. Children learn to handle the idea of working in a group, and with small chores, they start respecting their parents for the bigger responsibilities which they have had to take up on account of their children.
A child does not need to do everything around the house but from a very young age, they can start doing small things. Even when a child is a six-year old, he/she can help you wipe the plates when you’re setting the table. He/she can also help you fluff up the pillows and cushions, or can help you arrange the shoes in the shoe rack. As they start getting older, maybe they can set the table once in a while, and maybe they can take on the responsibility of vacuuming the living room, or dusting the dirt off all the shelves in the house. Their growing chores will also give them a natural sense of the growing responsibilities they have towards the family, and dealing with them during the difficult teenage years will also become much easier if they are broken into the habit of chores much earlier.
Some parents make the mistake of introducing the chores only after the kids are very old. This not only tends to annoy children, especially when they are teenagers, and are naturally, quite defensive about everything, it also fails to convey the message of sharing work amongst one another. There is a huge chance your teenager might fly off the handle and somehow come to the conclusion that you’re trying to make them miserable and hold them back from having fun, by burdening them with such chores. Very young children, on the opposite, are quite enthusiastic about doing work. Giving them work lets them know that you consider them old enough to be useful around the house, and that they are growing up to help, and are not being side-lined on account of their age.
Young children, therefore, should be given some chores, and there should always be acknowledgement of the fact that they have done a good job. Rewarding them constantly by giving them material gifts might backfire, because this is something they’re supposed to be doing, but verbal acknowledgement and encouragement goes a long way in encouraging the child. And if you can help it, try not to criticize the work they’ve done. Complete perfection should not always be the agenda. And if they’re doing something in the wrong way, gently let them know what the right way to do it is. Lastly, nothing is worse than a parent hovering over their shoulder. Let them be. At some level, you really need to believe the fact that they are responsible enough, in order to make them feel that way.