Parents need all the help they can get when it comes to work around the house. That means children help too. But as kids complete their chores; are they helping themselves as well? Research conducted at the University of Toronto indicates the answer is a resounding “yes!”
Dr. Joan Grusec, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, led a study of children’s involvement in four kinds of household work: family care (chores that benefit family members, such as setting the table or looking after pets), self-care (chores that benefit the self, such as making one’s own bed), routine work self-regulated by the child, and work performed in response to requests from others. The study of children aged 9 to 14 shows those with regular responsibilities at home showed greater sensitivity to the needs of others, were more responsible in other areas, and were more likely to spontaneously pitch in, both at home and school.
A 2002 study by University of Minnesota professor Marty Rossmann found children who began household tasks at an early age grew into more well-adjusted adults. She studied 84 young adults and looked at their participation in housework at three stages — as preschoolers, ages 9 to 10, and in their mid-teens. Those who started doing chores at the youngest age were the most responsible, confident and able to take care of themselves in adulthood.
The key to making kids more responsible is having them complete tasks that benefit the entire family. Doing things that benefit everyone gets our children in the habit of thinking of others. Kids who complete chores at home have a tendency to become more responsible and considerate adults!