• August 22, 2019

CENTERS' PIECE: Chores are important for children - Odessa American: Centers’ Piece

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CENTERS' PIECE: Chores are important for children

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Posted: Monday, July 15, 2019 5:15 am

Trying to get your child to do chores at any age can be difficult and can often lead to heated arguments and outright refusal from the child. I have personally dealt with this issue and sometimes I wonder if it is worth the argument or the grief. On some of those occasions I completed the chore to prevent more fighting, however is that helpful for the child?

Some people dispute that chores prevent the child from having a childhood since much of adulthood is consumed with work and others think that chores teach responsibility. Despite those concerns, however, giving your child chores may be one of the most important things a parent can do. Kids who do chores learn responsibility and gain important life skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Chores and housework sound easy, but why does getting a child to cooperate cause so much strain? Scolding kids may get them to do the chores but it could also be a struggle. Children may feel like chores are only for parents or it is interfering with their personal time or activities. Most often attempts and requests to get children involved in doing their chores turn into angry demands from the parent. The arguments can also lead to the parents feeling angry resentful and disrespected by the child. To prevent these incidents a parent should not nag but create reminders such as chore charts, a work holiday, offer rewards and do chores together as a family. Doing chores also helps kids feel like they’re part of the team. Pitching in and helping family members is good for them and it encourages them to be good people.

Chores Teach Children to:

  • Be more empathetic
  • Have better relationships with family and friends
  • Have higher self esteem
  • Have a work Ethic
  • Be more responsible
  • Be Independent
  • Learn discipline
  • Learn life Skills
  • Create team building
  • Build confidence
  • Become organized

As the parent it is our job to make sure the chores are fair and done properly. Parents have the ability to make chores fun and offer a fee to help motivate the kids. Remember it is also important that children do not have to carry grownup size responsibilities. Although when the children do not complete their chores parents may have to set consequences. Sometimes reminders are necessary for most kids until routines get well established.

Beware of fighting during this chore transition period if you don’t want to set a negative tone about sharing family responsibilities. Stay away from getting irritated, restless and certainly far away from yelling at the children. Getting frustrated or mad may be meant to encourage participation. In fact, anger produces the opposite effect. It builds resentment and resistance. Expect that children will sometimes forget to do tasks or do them only partially.

Here are some techniques that can assist with completing chores.

  • Ask questions.
  • Keep the tone positive.
  • Use humor.
  • Offer a helpful hand when necessary.

Florence Pride is a licensed professional counselor, certified anger resolution therapist at Centers for Children and Families. 

Odessa, TX

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