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Ask Dr. Nandi: How kids benefit from doing chores

Posted: 5:45 PM, Jun 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-05 17:45:39-04

(WXYZ) — We have some good news for parents. Despite all the nagging to get children to do their chores, kids can actually benefit from these family responsibilities.

I get that kids are often unwilling to help around the house. As a parent myself, I hear the grumbling and groaning from time to time. But it’s my responsibility to make the best possible choices for my kids. And believe it or not, assigning age-appropriate chores to your kids can actually teach valuable life skills. And help them develop a meaningful appreciation of being a part of your family.

So how do chores benefit our kids? Well first of all, they can teach kids important lessons in responsibility, teamwork and accountability. They also boost a child’s confidence and self-esteem, and they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once the task is done. But keep in mind, kids learn by doing, so start with simple jobs. Then as skills develop, you can slowly increase the complexity of the task. With little ones, I recommend you start off with one-step tasks like picking up their toys or stacking their books. Of course they’ll need to be shown by you first how to do these things. Over time, you can expand upon these steps which will likely require less oversight. Allowing you to accomplish more in less time! Now that’s a real benefit! To help improve your likelihood of success, here are my prescriptions:

  1. Expose children to family responsibilities early in life, even if only to watch.
  2. Find age-appropriate chores that match your child’s developmental stage to minimize both yours and their frustration.
  3. Try to give positive feedback before the chore is finished as this builds positive momentum.
  4. Create a calendar with a list of each child’s responsibilities as this gives specific direction and sets expectations.

So, who says chores need to involve fights or frustration? With thoughtful, family-focused goals, everyone can work together to lighten the endless tasks of daily living. While at the same time, develop meaningful skills that benefit our kids in the long run.