Implicit in every chore is a life lesson, and they can be wonderful ways to create teachable moments for our children. Moreover, chores can make children feel needed and included as they become active participants in the way their family functions. But asking children to do chores can at times feel like a chore in itself for the parents. So, how can we make each chore a fun activity for children?
- Role reversal can be an effective way to motivate children where they get to instruct the adults on the process of any particular chore. Wouldn’t they just love to boss us around? More on this approach below.
- Empathy can make children willing partners. Enlisting their help instead of assigning a chore can make them a lot more willing to help and teach them to be empathetic.
What life skills do chores build?
A Sense of Responsibility
We could start with a simple task of cleaning the fridge each week or fortnight. Cleaning the fridge can be a team activity, with two or more family members working together. What they learn from it is not only how to clean it, but also plan the process from emptying the fridge out until it is cleaned and restocked. In short, take full responsibility for it.
Cooking can be a great way to build self-reliance. We could start by making them our sous chefs and move them up the ladder as they learnt to cook, one dish at a time.
Make it a challenge. Once a dish has been learnt, they can bring in their own creativity by adding their own unique touch to the meal.
Once they have mastered the fundamental kitchen skills and know their way around, we could take turns at being sous chefs, with the children head chefs for that day. Inbuilt in this lesson is the confidence that they can rely on themselves to reach their goals.
A Sense of Pride
Gardening in the yard or in a pot can be an individual activity that could teach them what it takes to take care of a life and be patient. The sense of satisfaction and pride they are likely to experience once the plant takes root or the yard blossoms will be an experience to behold, and they will want to capture it time and again.
We can take it one step further by including what they have grown in that day’s meal and watch them beam with pride. A real-time farm-to-table experience.
Asking them to keep their room tidy can be a great way to build autonomy. Let them decide when and how. With autonomy comes the skill of making decisions independently and how to implement them throughout their lives.
With just a few simple, everyday household chores, we can enable our children to become independent, responsible, and caring individuals.