When I was a little girl, my mom used to make my brother and I do chores around the house. Before she’d leave for work, she would tell us, “By the time I come back make sure the bathroom is clean.” And so it was each day when she left for work, she’d give us a new chore to complete before her return.
Little did I know, all those days of chores paid off in more ways than just keeping the house clean. The consistency and dedication to do a good job for our mom actually gave us a series of strong character traits that my brother and I still have to this day and have passed on to our own children.
Looking back, I can see how my mom used her need for us to help around the house and turned it into an opportunity to sow practical life skills. If you’ve ever been hesitant to let your children help with the chores, you might want to reconsider. Not only will you be getting the help you need around the house, but you’ll also be equipping them with essential skills and character traits that will help them have the best chance of success in life.
Not sure how chores will help your children? Here are five traits your children will learn from doing chores:
Attention to Detail
Life requires attention to detail in parenting, marriage, overall relationships and business. Doing chores will get your children used to the habit of paying attention to the details in those areas of their lives. By training them to properly dust the furniture and not miss the details, you are teaching them to work with excellence by looking for those things most people would not notice. Think of how much better husbands your sons will be because they pay attention to the little things. Imagine how this will translate into their future careers, because you used chores to teach them about having an eye for detail. Don’t miss this chance and give them a duster!
Living a successful life requires perseverance to get through the tough times. Marriage, parenting, homeschooling or starting a business may present challenges that make one want to quit, but it’s perseverance and the duty to get to the finish line, that will allow us to endure the process with joy and humility. If you’ve ever cleaned a closet or attempted to wash huge piles of laundry, surely you’ve realized it takes perseverance to finish. So, can you see there is no better way to train your children for real life than to give them real life tasks?
“The man who does not work shall not eat,” says the Bible. It might sound a bit extreme, but it’s not far from the real world. Diligence is a required character trait to become a good provider and a good manager of your home. Diligence is the trait that makes sure projects are completed. Everyday chores require this trait, because they make children (and adults) resist the desire to sit around and do nothing. The diligence muscle is strengthened in the everyday tasks of picking up the house, mopping, sweeping, doing dishes and overall home maintenance.
In the United States, we have the privilege of living with order. Having visited other nations, I’m well aware of what a lack of order looks like. The consequences are manifested by having to visit several governmental offices to get one paper notarized or having five lanes of vehicles in four traffic lanes. Order is a key ingredient in our life and it provides certainty to the chaos life can often represent. By teaching our children to keep things in order, we are helping them have a standard that will allow them to recognize unhealthy disorder and chaos.
Proper management and upkeep of our possessions and our physical, emotional and spiritual state is accomplished through a healthy dosage of stewardship. When we teach children to manage their time when doing chores, manage their possessions by knowing what to keep and what to give away, you are training them on the management of resources in order to be as productive and efficient as possible. The most successful people in this world have learned to be good stewards of a particular resource and through everyday chores, you are modeling good stewardship.
Seeing chores for more than just a task you make your children do is a quintessential duty for moms or dads. The legacy you build in your children and grandchildren starts when you persevere in teaching daily life skills that build powerful character traits.
This article was originally published in the Homeschooling Today Magazine 2016 winter issue. Get more quality, relevant articles like these delivered to your door or to your inbox with your subscription to homeschooling today!