When our children first make their entrance into the world, we basically answer to their every call. If we hear even the slightest hint of a cry, we are there to give them whatever their heart desires. For a season, that is both understandable and even a bit necessary. However, one of the roles of a parent is to provide a child with the tools that they need to be an independent and thriving adult.
This is why once they get to a certain age (a lot of this is up to you, but some experts say that between 10-12 is smart), it’s a good idea to start giving them chores along with an allowance. If you’ve kind of been “on the fence” about this idea and you need a few reasons to convince yourself to do so, we have the top five benefits for both you and your child:
It teaches responsibility. If you talk to a lot of adults who didn’t have to do much around the house as children, they’ll probably tell you that, in hindsight, they wish they had. At some point, you are not going to be around to wash your children’s clothes and clean up their room. They are going to need to figure out how to be responsible for their own lives and chores help children to do that.
It gives them a sense of achievement. It is naturally innate within us to want to have goals and achieve them. As children are developing, giving them a list of things to do is a way of introducing them to the concept of having plans and then achieving them, while also learning that life is, in part, about not always wanting to do what needs to be done. The sooner that your son or daughter can understand this principle, the easier that transition into being a teenager and then a young adult will be for them.
It encourages them to appreciate things more. Children don’t have to put much thought into where their next meal is coming from or how much the new video game or pair of shoes that they wanted cost. Pretty much all they know is that their needs are met; however, when a child has to help put up groceries or clean up the computer room, whether directly or indirectly, they learn to how value things more.
It shows them how finances work. When adults want to learn about money, they may go with a YouTube channel like Barefoot Investing in order to get information on market shares and properties. For a child, one of the best ways that they can “learn on their level” is to have a weekly allowance. When you combine that with the weekly chores that they have, it shows them how important it is to want to earn your income. Plus, it provides you with an opportunity to teach them about other things like budgeting and saving up for something that you really want.
It prepares them for employment. If a child is used to “working at home”, then it won’t be so hard for them to get a job during the summer once they get older. Without question, one of the absolute best things that you can do for a child is to introduce them to a strong work ethic. By assigning chores and then giving them an allowance, you are doing just that.