If you ask any kids if they’d rather do chores or just play video games all day, it’s pretty obvious what they would answer. But, stay strong parents because ignoring the complaints and making your kids do chores can help teach them vital life skills. And not just how to vacuum and do laundry, they can learn characteristics, habits and traits that will slingshot them onto a path of success throughout life including:
Work Ethic: Many kids do not have their first job until well into their teens, when they are in high school, college or even as young adults after college graduation. When done right, chores can actually function as your child’s first job teaching him or her about accountability, quality of work, organization and planning. Paying your child weekly for chores completed can also help him or her comprehend how pay checks work.
Digital Money Comprehension: Americans are generally a cashless society these days, which can be hard for kids to understand at checkout. When kids see parents shopping online it can look like parents are just picking what they want and having it show up at the house. Kids are not seeing money changing hands and that makes understanding how debit and credit cards work. Using a chore management service that is linked to a debit card for kids can help them practice managing money they cannot see.
Budgeting: Most adults are dealing with debt management whether it is student loans or credit card debt. When kids do chores to earn money and then are given freedom to spend that money, they learn very quickly the value of the money they are earning and start to comprehend the cost of goods. If your child wants a new toy or game have him or her save money from chores to make the purchase. This will help your child understand delayed gratification and the value of hard work compared to the costs of items.
Time Management: Kids often have busy schedules, but they usually aren’t in charge of managing them. They go to school, sports and other extra-curricular activities when parents say. Give your child chores for the week and then let him or her set a schedule for getting them done before the week is over. Incentivize your child by paying for the chores that get done but stay strong and don’t allow extra time or pay for uncompleted tasks.
Entrepreneurship: Kids who start chores at a young age, as young as five, can learn skills they can turn into a neighborhood job as they grow up. For example, pet sitting or lawn care for the neighbors. By teaching them that hard work pays from a young age you will be inspiring your kids to put down the phones and gaming controllers to go out and make an income instead.
Greg Murset is CEO of BusyKid, a revolutionary chores app for kids that teaches financial literacy and responsibility.