Every child deserves to have responsibilities and discipline. That may sound strange, but if you think about it, these are important, no matter how gifted your child is. Just because my children have played in a big concert or winning a football game doesn’t mean they can come home and act out or skip their chores.
According to a study done by Dr. Marty Rossmann, the benefits of chores are long lasting. Children who were given household tasks early on in life (3 or 4 years of age) were more likely to be self-sufficient and to be successful in their chosen careers and school than children who didn’t have chores. The household tasks also helped kids grow up with better family relationships.
Even gifted children need to be responsible. It’s easy to put this sort of thing off and decide that your talented children should focus on developing their talents, but this is actually doing them a disservice. If they grow up without a proper sense of responsibility, without understanding that everyone in a family needs to chip in and help out, they will live less fulfilling lives.
What Chores Teach Your Child
Chores are an essential part of your child’s life. When a child is required to complete certain tasks in the home, he not only learns how to do something useful, he also learns to take on the responsibility that is necessary to become a successful adult. Without chores, children will not learn to take on these essential responsibilities.
Taking on some of the household work also helps a child feel like a contributing part of the family, which is a very important part of growing up.
What Are Age Appropriate Chores?
The specific chores you give your child will depend on his age and abilities. It can be tough to try and teach a child to do tasks like sweeping properly or washing the dishes without leaving bits of food and you’ll be tempted to just do it yourself sometimes, but it’s important to take the time to teach children these essential skills. They’ll need them one day.
Here are some of the chores children should be able to perform at each age. Obviously, your kids may be more or less advanced, so keep their individual abilities in mind.
- Put away toys and books
- Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket
- Dust low areas of the house
- Wash lower cupboards with a washcloth
- Feed and water pets
- Make their own bed
- Water plants
- Move clothes from washing machine to dryer
- Sweep floor
- Set the table
- Rake leaves
- Take out the garbage
- Put away groceries
- Prep meals
- Walk dog
- Vacuum the floor
- Entertain younger siblings
- Watch younger siblings
- Do laundry
- Cook complete meals for the family
- Clean full bathroom
Don’t let your children grow up without knowing how to look after themselves and their home. It doesn’t matter if you’re raising a gifted child or not, as a parent it is your responsibility to make sure your children are taught these essential skills.