Not only do regular household jobs teach kids responsibility and prevent a sense of entitlement, they instill in children a vital sense of importance in the family.
When kids are able to participate in the workings of a household in meaningful ways, they internalize a powerful message: “My contributions matter; I matter here.” This feeling of significance is a cornerstone of successful family relationships.
Learning to keep up with chores is not something a child learns quickly. While seemingly straightforward to the adults who do them all the time, household tasks take weeks, months, or even years for kids to learn and develop habits. Depending on the job, be sure to take adequate time to teach kids what needs to happen and how to do it.
Teaching chores is much more effective when it is done cooperatively. Engage children in the learning process with these four steps:
1. Model. First, just demonstrate how a task is done. 2. They help you. Next time you do the job, you get to have an assistant. 3. You help them. Now it is their turn to take the lead, and you are the assistant. 4. They do it alone. You’ve done this work together enough times that it is reasonable to expect a child to get a job done on her own.