Dads, Give Your Kids Chores!
by Mark Brandenburg
You have a chore to do around the house and your kids want to help out somehow. At this time of year, it might be holiday decorations. You know that it might be nice for them to help but you’re feeling a bit impatient. And you know that it might turn into a two hour project and there might be a big mess to clean up. A mess that could be avoided if you did it yourself.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
It can be so much easier to do the household chores and projects without the assistance from your little friends. After all, who’s got the time in today’s world to make a project longer than it needs to be?
Why is it important to include your kids in household tasks?
Once in a while there is some research that unveils something that’s so important and relevant that it screams for parents to hear it.
Researcher Marty Rossman at the University of Minnesota studied a group of young adults from the time they were young children. The startling results of the study were that the young adults who had participated in household chores when they were age 3 and 4 were more successful as adults than those who didn’t.
Specifically, these young adults were more likely to complete their education, get a good start on a career, develop adult relationships, and avoid the use of drugs. The early participation in household chores was deemed more important in their success than any other factor, including IQ.
On the other hand, if children did not begin participating in household chores until they were teenagers, the experience seemed to backfire and had a negative effect on their success as young adults, using those same measures.
What does this really mean?
When your young kids feel as though their dad (or mom) believes they’re capable of handling simple chores around the house, it is an incredibly powerful message to them.
Dad believes I can do it!
If your kids believe that’s how you feel about them as they go through life, you’re a genius.
You’ll also be the father of confident, responsible, happy kids. That’s what is created when you choose to see your kids as capable and you believe in them. But wait! You can’t just see them as capable. You also have to show patience with them when they tackle these chores. You can’t take over for them when they struggle or “correct” what they did.
This will only serve to undermine their confidence and discourage them.
Imagine the difference you can make with your kids by allowing their participation in the family chores. Imagine the difference in your kids esteem level that results from encouraging them rather than criticizing them.
You do have time to include your kids in chores and projects at home.
Tell every other father and mother that you know that they have time, too.
It’s too important not to.
About the Author
Mark Brandenburg, Shoreview, MN USA
Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, is the author of “25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers.” He is a certified personal coach for parents and for men who want more balance in their life and better relationships at home. For more great tips and action steps for fathers, sign up for his FREE bi-weekly newsletter, “Dads, Don’t Fix Your Kids,” at http://www.markbrandenburg.com