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Article 3 (Sept 2018): Chores help children become more successful, expert says
September 27, 2018Children who do regular household chores grow up more responsible and successful, a researcher says. Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult, said children who don't have chores don't learn that work must be done, it won't be done for you, and each member of a family has to contribute to getting it done.
The problem is that at least one study says most parents don't require chores. In a Braun Research poll of 1,001 parents commissioned by Whirlpool, the appliance manufacturer, 82 percent of parents said they grew up doing chores themselves, but only 28 percent said they regularly assign chores to their kids.
Lythcott-Haims says that letting kids skip chores because they are busy or have a lot of homework is tempting, but it won't help them once they are out in the world. At some point, everyone has to work late, but they still have to shop, clean up the kitchen and tend to personal affairs. Skipping chores in childhood may just lead to skipping chores in adulthood.
Research tends to support Lythcott-Haims' ideas. A University of Minnesota study found that the best predictor of future success in education, careers and relationships was whether a child started doing chores as early as age 3 or 4. In fact, the earlier you start having kids help out, the greater the benefits. When they are young, children love to help you do things. As they grow, they lose interest so take advantage of childhood enthusiasm.
Despite the advantages, getting kids started with chores can be a challenge that can be overcome with a few strategies, according to Parents magazine. Inject fun into the process by playing music and singing or doing chores while playing a funny character. As the novelty wears off, switch up the routine by doing a different task or make the normal ones more interesting by adding a time challenge or making it more difficult. Over time, they might gravitate towards specific areas like taking care of the dog's food, water, and bedding because they love animals which is a great way to let them help while exploring their interests.
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