Not including your child in the house chores?? Why not??
My kid is too small yet, how will she/he help me in the household chores??
Why do I need to include my kid in the household work when it can be done by me or the house help??
What benefit will it do to include my kid in the household chores??
Shouldn’t the kids be just kids, for the little while they are??
Isn’t it a common notion among parents? Yes it is….
We as parents get too protective for our kids and think that it is either not required, or it will get too much of a burden on them if we include them in the household chores.
But surprisingly it is not the scenario, and kids in fact enjoy it and feel very happy and excited to participate in it, making it a game. And why not, anything for them can be a game if it is not pressurized on them.
What are the few benefits the kids will have from including them in the chores??
1. A sense of Responsibility
When we start letting kids do the chores, it will help them getting a sense of responsibility in them. If we give the child a specific responsibility like keeping their own dishes after finishing their meals, it will become their responsibility each day to do the same. If they do not do it, you can just politely point out to them to finish their work and then move to the next thing they would be planning to do.
Having a sense of responsibility to do a task is one of the most important thing that is needed in life. Be it a girl or a boy, it is very important to understand that it is an individual’s responsibility to do his or her own work, and not wait for someone else to do it.
Giving them the household chores will help them in understanding that it is their own duty to finish their own work and they should not (not can not) depend on someone else.
2. A Sense of Content
A sense of content i.e. a sense of satisfaction that they too are doing something for the home is a very important thing and can be formed when the child is involved in the household chores.
It helps later in life and helps the child to be more grateful, involved in their own work and also in the work as a team.
3. It Teaches Team Work
A family that works together, stays together.
When we live together under one roof as a family, we live as a team. And when we live as a team, all the members in the team should participate to keep the team running well.
So, as parents it is our duty to make them understand what a team is and what teamwork is. If not much they should understand the few things they should do as a part of the team, i.e. listen, follow and help. Slowly they will start to know more about how it works and how the team spirit is an important part of life.
Later in life if they happen to be a part of any team may be sports, education or arts, they will know much better how to follow the rules and even be a leader.
4. Helps In Spending More time as a Family Together
You are doing your chores, and your child is busy on his or her ipad and watching YouTube kids. What sense does it make??
The work at home that needs to be done, needs to be done. It is not a good idea to spoil your sleep and do it to spend more time with your family. It can be done the other way, make them help you in your chores and spend more time together. This will give you more time with your child, help you to impart more knowledge to them, and also help you in saving the time away from them when they might just be watching the screen and nothing else.
5. Learning Skills
As I always say, the sooner the better.
It is very important for them to learn certain skills in life, and doing house hold chores are one of the basics skills that they should be learning. Then why not start when they are young and they want to get involved into everything by themselves?
It is just we adults who consider household chores as something big and something difficult or even a task to complete. For the kids its just some fun and play time, until and unless they see you taking it as a burden and make it a burden them self.
So, many times doing the household chores you might even find your kids interests or hobbies, e.g. cooking.
Also learning this very important life skill early in life will give them a sense of confidence and help them to live better in later situations when they need to move out of the house after growing up.
6. Respecting others
Many time I have heard parents saying, “I get up early in the morning, and finish off all my work before my kid even gets up.” to this, I would say why??
It is totally agreeable till the time your kid is very small and you have to devote your 100% time to your child. But once he or she starts understanding things, and starts crawling or walking, why do you need to get up early or use the nap times to cook, clean or do the laundry?? If the child always sees the house to be super duper clean, he or she will think it is always like that, and nothing needs to be done to make it the way it is.
So, doing the household chores in front of your child will help in understanding that there is someone who has been spending a lot of time in keeping it the way it is, and eventually he or she will start participating in the work with you, and respecting you for what you are doing for the home.
For example, my daughter was just an year old, when I started involving her with me to start sorting out the laundry. She use to let me fold a heap of laundry and she would start playing with the socks, or the handkerchiefs. She was just 1.5 years old when she started serving chapatis, keeping the dishes, and helping us in making the bed.
And now doing the house hold chores is her way of helping us and expressing her love.
7. Keeps them Occupied
It is difficult to do pretend play for a long time I am sure most of the parents will agree with me. Giving them household chores will let them deflect from the toys a bit, still keep them busy in doing something creative, and also help you do your own chores meanwhile. This will lead to buying time for yourself as well. The work gets finished faster, everyone is busy, everyone did their own thing. So its a win win.
8. Helps improving the fine and gross motor skills
The fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the hands the wrist and the gross motor skills involve the larger muscles of the arms and the legs.
Helping you around in the household chores also help them in making their fine as well the gross motor skills better. It also improves their hand eye co-ordination.
e.g. You ask your child to fill your sugar container with the sugar in a big storage box from the pantry, this will help them to focus more and co-ordinate their hands and eyes and try making the minimum spills. This will further help in increasing the concentration.
The memory, the grasp, the handling of the things get better with time. The chores will involve the pushing, pulling, grasping and many more things which will further help.
9. Developing Organisation Skills
Tell them where to keep what (the smaller things of course) and they will remember it. It might take a day or two and you might need to tell them a few times, but it is definitely going to work.
This will help them in organising their own rooms when they grow up, and this will for sure help you in reducing your work as well as help them in learning to do their own work themselves, as one day they would be moving out and living on their own.
This will also help them in being more organized once they go on school trips, science fairs, and another place they might need to be.
10. Reduces your work load
Last but not the least, it will definitely reduce your work load.
May be not in the beginning but over the period of time, it will help you reduce your work overload. In the beginning you might need to teach them a few times, they might make a bigger mess, may get distracted. But it is part of the journey. They will start doing it on their own and reduce your time into the chores as well as reduce the workload.
For example, while cleaning I ask my daughter to keep all her stuff in place, meanwhile when she is keeping her things at various places in the room, I finish off some other work I need to do, and I can not take her help in. So it works fine and quick for us.
They will slowly start doing more of your work and it won’t be a burden for them at all but a habit.