How Giving Kids Chores Builds Self-Confidence

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| Update:
Mar 27, 2022 10:20:57 p.m.


Doing household chores was an integral part of learning for the majority of parents growing up.

In many cultures around the world, parents ask their children for help with minor chores soon after they learn to walk. Children gradually begin to take on responsibilities, such as getting organized, making the bed, and putting things in the right place. Arrived in adolescence, parents no longer make demands because children begin to anticipate what is expected of them.

In Bangladesh, we tend to think that young children are free to do chores and help. A new survey indicates that while more than 90% of parents admit to having done household chores as children, only 66% of them regularly entrust their children with chores.

This begs the question: should children do household chores? If so, how should parents proceed in this regard?

Let’s look at what the research says. According to a study, children who regularly do household chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and better equipped to deal with frustration and delayed gratification, all of which are linked to academic success.

Evidence also indicates that children who complete tasks are much more likely to be successful in the long term.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), doing chores helps children learn to manage their time and organize their things, so they can be more productive and organized as they grow.

Additionally, screen time has replaced outdoor games and physical activities as a form of entertainment for children these days. Therefore, involving children in household activities will improve their mobility, appetite and confidence, while reducing depression, insomnia and screen addiction.

Therefore, parents should regularly assign chores to their children if they want them to be responsible, organized and productive.

Here are some simple ideas to motivate children to do chores.

Idea 1: Start early

The earlier parents involve their children in chores, the better the progress. The best time to involve children in household chores is when they are toddlers. They may throw tantrums, but regular practice will help them improve. According to research, toddlers who help grow into cooperative kids don’t complain and don’t need to be reminded of their chores. Parents should start by assigning minor tasks, such as asking children to bring paper or a pen. They can even turn chores into stimulating games for kids, like – “Can you bring me a pen?”. Parents should gradually integrate children into real tasks and applaud their efforts even if they fail.

Idea 2: Make responsibilities constant and useful

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 12 and older do the majority of household chores. For starters, parents need to give their children consistent, age-appropriate chores. For example, asking them to change their curtains or fold their clothes every weekend could be torture. Daily attendance is more convenient. If parents assign regular chores to children, like making their beds, setting things up after school or play, helping family members like grandparents with their medicine, they will find it easy to make.

Idea 3: Assign real tasks

If asked correctly, children enjoy doing real-world tasks. They are driven to do chores when they see the fruits of their labor. For example, children are proud when they see a clean floor after sweeping up a mess with a broom. Parents should assign their children real-world tasks that are necessary for them to feel confident.

Idea 4: Working together

Helping parents with household chores not only promotes work ethic, but also promotes teamwork in the home. For working parents, this could be an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time with their kids as they love working with their mom and dad.

Idea 5: Appreciate their efforts

Everyone wants to be valued. Children are no exception. They crave recognition for the effort they put into activities. Positive reinforcement is extremely beneficial for children. So, when a child completes a chore, parents should express their appreciation. Going too far in this regard is pointless. A simple “thank you for keeping your room tidy” could go a long way. This is especially true when children are doing tasks that are not required of them.

Parents often tend to intervene when children do not perform tasks according to their standards. Sometimes parents impose too many rules on their children at the start of a task, which makes it intimidating to complete. The main purpose of assigning children chores is to teach them how to start and manage responsibilities, not how to complete them perfectly. When children put in the maximum effort, parents should be encouraging.


Sadia Mahjabeen ([email protected]) is the main and Tamanna Toma Khan ([email protected]) works as a program expert at iAmMotherly.

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