The topic of chores tends to come up in therapy for a number of reasons.
Sometimes it is because parents are exhausted.
Or, it is an inquiry into what is realistic.
And other times it is because learning responsibility (and independence) is what would be helpful to the presenting problem.
Today we are sharing a guide we came across on LifeHacker that helps to guide you in terms of chores that are age appropriate so you can set your kids (and yourself) up for success. Check it out right here.
To support this, we want to share a couple reasons developing a practice of having kids do chores in your home is helpful:
ONE: Chores teach about life skills
Everyone needs to learn about doing laundry, cleaning up, cooking, cleaning the dishes, taking care of pets, taking out the trash, basic personal hygiene, etc. These are essential life skills. Best to make that part of life as early as possible. Starting this later in life can create resistance and power struggles. Why make more work for yourself?!
TWO: Chores teach about contribution, responsibility and collaboration
This is key. When parents try to make it so the child’s only responsibility is school, I see the beautiful intentions, but it ends up creating skill deficits. Throughout life we have to balance roles and responsibilities.
And, these skills of being aware of the environment, being aware of where they can contribute, being responsible for something beside themselves and learning teamwork are all things that will serve your child in their relationships, social circles and work environments.
How do you feel about the person who never pays enough when you are out with friends and everyone wants to split the bill? It kind of sucks, right? Sometimes that is a simply lack of awareness. The person is not taking the group or the server into consideration (tax/tip), sometimes because their life experience has not trained them to be mindful of that. You don’t want that to be your kid!
THREE: You are already doing a lot as a parent
Yes, this is important. Preserving your energy and your sanity.
If you are doing everything all the time for your kids, you are going to get resentful at some point. And then, without wanting to, you will pull out receipts (a record of all you have done for them).
Which, to be honest, is unfair. Because they didn’t demand that you do it all. This is how you set it up (sorry).
This creates all kinds of chaos around skills that need to be straightforward: asking for help when we need it, trusting that it is safe to receive without someone coming to collect an emotional tax later (pulling out receipts).
Instead, we can create spaces at home that prepare kids for what they will encounter out in the world. Better to have them practice and learn ways that will serve them later right under your roof.
Need help implementing chores in your home? Contact us, we would love to offer you support.