From the Child’s Point of ViewIs it Worth the Struggle?The Benefits of ChoresSetting the ToneAllowanceSummary

The Chore Conflict


“Just wait a minute. I promise – I’ll bởi vì it later.”

“Aw Mom, vì chưng I have to??”

“Angie doesn’t have to bởi this; why do I have to?”

How many times have you heard these refrains or something similar when you request your children to vày a chore around the house? Chances are it has been often.

Children can be pros at procrastination, excuses, resistance và refusal when it comes khổng lồ chores. This causes much concern among parents & conflict between children & their parents.

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From the Child’s Point of View

Why Children Resist Doing Chores

Part of the explanation rests with the very nature of children.

Young children & teens are:

lacking in judgment. Most young children have no idea how much work is involved with the running of a household.

impulsive. They want what they want when they want it. Working at activities that are not immediately gratifying khổng lồ them is not inherently on their agenda.

self-absorbed & concerned mainly about themselves and their own needs. They do not naturally consider the needs và expectations of others.

What Is Needed to be Motivated

Doing chores willingly requires:

mature judgment,less impulsivity,and more awareness of others’ perspectives & needs.

Children are not born with these traits; they develop gradually as children grow & mature.

Part of your job as parents is to lớn socialize your children during the 18 or đôi mươi years that they live with you by helping them lớn develop these mature qualities. Therefore, it should not be a surprise, and perhaps you should accept & expect, that they resist helping at home.

Is it Worth the Struggle?

Insisting that chores be completed can feel lượt thích a never-ending battle. Because it can feel like you are constantly reminding, nagging, or imposing consequences just lớn get your children lớn follow through, you may decide to let chores slide. It becomes easier in the short run to vì chưng the jobs yourself.

Parents may be reluctant to engage in continuous struggles for fear of damaging their relationship with their children.

They may feel guilty asking their children khổng lồ help; after all, children are so busy with all the other demands on them from school, peers and extra-curricular activities that you may be reluctant to địa chỉ to the pressures.

Parents may believe their little ones are too young khổng lồ take on responsibilities, not realizing how capable their youngsters actually can be.

The Benefits of Chores

The Research

Even though it is more difficult at the time to persist in having children bởi vì chores, kids benefit from the experience.

Research indicates that those children who bởi vì have a mix of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, & are better able to khuyến mãi with frustration và delay gratification, all of which contribute khổng lồ greater success in school.

Furthermore, research by Marty Rossman* shows that involving children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. In fact, says Rossman, “the best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20’s was that they participated in household tasks when they were three or four.”

Life Skills

Doing chores gives a child the opportunity to give back khổng lồ their parents for all you vì for them. Kids begin khổng lồ see themselves as important contributors lớn the family. They feel a connection khổng lồ the family.

Holding them accountable for their chores can increase a sense of themselves as responsible and actually make them more responsible. Children will feel more capable for having met their obligations và completed their tasks.

One of the most frequently sited causes of over-indulgence stems from parents doing too much for their children và not expecting enough of them. Not being taught the skills of everyday living can limit children’s ability to function at age appropriate levels.

For example:

5-year-old Sara goes khổng lồ kindergarten & is one of the few students who has no idea how to lớn put on & button her own coat.

Sam, age 7, goes to a friend’s house for dinner but does not know how to lớn pour juice for himself.

Fast forward to Beth who at age 18 goes away khổng lồ college not knowing how to vì her own laundry.

By expecting children lớn complete self-care tasks and to help with household chores, parents equip children with the skills lớn function independently in the outside world.

With only so many hours in a day, parents need to lớn help children decide how lớn spend their time và to determine what is most important.


If you let children off the hook for chores because they have too much schoolwork or need to lớn practice a sport, then you are saying, intentionally or not, that their academic or athletic skills are most important.

And if your children fail a chạy thử or fail khổng lồ block the winning shot, then they have failed at what you deem to lớn be most important. They vày not have other pillars of competency upon which lớn rely.

By completing household tasks, they may not always be the star student or athlete, but they will know that they can contribute khổng lồ the family, begin to lớn take care of themselves, và learn skills that they will need as an adult.

Setting the Tone

Role Modeling

In addition lớn being steadfast in the belief that it is important khổng lồ have children complete chores, your attitudes can help set the tone that will increase possible cooperation in your household. You can consider how you look at your “chores” – you are your children’s most important role model.

As Barbara Coloroso suggests in her book Kids Are Worth It!

, if parents “do chores with a sense of commitment, patience & humor, our children will have a model to bởi likewise.”

You can send the message that chores are a bore & something lớn be avoided at all costs.

Conversely, you can send the message that these are the tasks that need khổng lồ be completed in order for your household lớn run smoothly & that everyone in the family is encouraged & expected to participate.

Encouraging Participation

Young children naturally want lớn be a part of the family and want to help. Ideally, you will encourage their participation (even if it takes more work on your part in the short run).

For example:

By the age of three, youngsters can be assigned their own tasks, for which they are responsible, such as pulling up the sheets on their bed or placing the napkins on the table or sorting the laundry.

The size of the task does not matter; the responsibility associated with it does.

Assigning Chores

For those parents who did not begin a chore regimen when their kids were little, you can still start a plan now. You can take some time lớn think about what tasks you need help with, what life skills your children need to learn, and what are each child’s interests and abilities.

Consider these Questions

What chores vì you want completed in your home?

Are the ones already selected the best fit for each of your children & ones that are most meaningful khổng lồ the running of your household?

Are there life skills that a particular child needs khổng lồ learn?

Do you want to tie allowance khổng lồ chore completion?

Ask for Input

As you contemplate these decisions, you can ask your children for their input. Children are more cooperative when they have a say. Also, brainstorm ideas for overcoming any obstacles you have faced in the past, such as children not following through, arguing, or not doing a thorough job.

Hold Family Meetings

Many parents hold a family meeting to lớn discuss chores và when & how they will be starting, revising, or re-instating them. Such times together can build morale, improve relationships, & facilitate creative problem solving.

Update your Chore Plan

Some families use birthdays as natural markers for examining what responsibilities as well as what privileges their children are receiving.

Other, naturally occurring breaks that lend themselves khổng lồ instituting or revisiting a chore plan include the beginning or end of the school year or returning from vacations.


One question that parents frequently ask is whether allowance should be tied lớn the completion of chores. This is a personal call, with experts weighing in on both sides.

Option 1 – do Chores khổng lồ Earn Allowance

Some parents feel quite resentful of handing their children money if the youngsters bởi vì not assist with the running of the household.

For these parents, the money is an incentive for a job well done. Just as adults must learn khổng lồ complete a job satisfactorily in order lớn be paid, some parents want khổng lồ instill that same work ethic in their children.

Under these circumstances, parents would want to lớn pay the child an allowance as compensation for a job well done.

Option 2 – Chores & Allowance are Separate

Other parents want their children khổng lồ help around the house as a contributing member of the family, not because there is money or other external rewards associated with it.

These families believe that it takes a lot of effort for a household to function smoothly & that their children should participate without pay because they are a part of the family.

In addition, some families want their children lớn learn to lớn be financially responsible và are concerned that if the chores are not satisfactorily completed, then their children will not receive pay & will not have the opportunity khổng lồ budget or make spending choices.

For either of the above reasons, these families may want lớn separate chore completion from allowance.

Option 3 – Earn Privileges

One alternative lớn paying money may be lớn have children earn privileges for completing their chores.

For example, a teen may earn the right to lớn use the oto on the weekends by washing the automobile. A school-age child may earn the privilege to lớn have friends over to lớn play if he throws away the trash và puts away the games after a previous gathering.

Revisiting Allowance

Providing an allowance and under what circumstances is an individual decision, one that parents can revisit và alter during any of the re-evaluation sessions they hold as a family.

In Summary

Be convinced of the importance of chores in developing your children’s character. If you firmly believe in their value, you will communicate this message khổng lồ your children và you will be less likely to lớn give in lớn their delay tactics or resistance.

Consider how you look at your “chores” – you are your children’s most important role model. As such, they will watch you & decide if responsibilities are met with acceptance & grace or with resentment và anger.

Make chores a regular part of the family routine – it is expected that everyone over the age of 3 will be responsible for certain tasks lớn keep the household functioning.

Decide if allowance will be given for the completion of chores.

Children may not thank you in the short term for giving them chores. This is a case where the goal is not necessarily to make your children happy; rather it is to lớn teach them life skills & a sense of responsibility that will last a lifetime.

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