Parenting Information

Dads, Give them Household Chores

You have a chore to do around the house, and your kids want to help out. You know it might be nice for them to help, but you're feeling a bit impatient. And you know it might turn into a two hour project, with a big mess to clean up. A mess that could be avoided if you did it yourself.

We've all been there, haven't we?

It can be so much easier to do the household chores and projects without the assistance from your little friends. After all, who's got the time in today's world to make a project longer than it needs to be?

You do.

Why is it important to include your kids in household tasks?

Once in a while, there's some research that unveils something so important and relevant that it screams for parents to hear it.

Researcher Marty Rossman, at the University of Minnesota, studied a group of young adults from the time they were young children. The startling results of the study were that the young adults who'd participated in household chores when they were age 3 and 4, were more successful as adults than those who didn't.

Specifically, these young adults were more likely to complete their education, get a good start on a career, develop adult relationships, and avoid the use of drugs. The early participation in household chores was deemed more important in their success than any other factor, including IQ.

On the other hand, if children didn't begin participating in household chores until they were teenagers, the experience seemed to backfire, and had a negative effect on their success as young adults, using those same measures.

What does this really mean?

When your young kids feel as though their dad (or mom) believes they're capable of handling simple chores around the house, it's an incredibly powerful message to them.

Dad believes I can do it!

If your kids believe that's how you feel about them as they go through life, you'll also be the parent of confident, responsible, and happy kids. That's what's created when you choose to see your kids as capable, and you show them you believe in them.

But it's not as easy as just seeing them as capable. You also have to show patience when they tackle these chores. You can't take over for them when they struggle, or "correct" what they did. Often, it's what you don't do that communicates you believe in them.

Imagine the difference you can make with your kids by allowing their participation in the family chores. Imagine the difference in your kids esteem when they feel like a productive participant in the family from a young age.

You do have time to include your kids in chores and projects at home. Tell every other father and mother you know that they have time, too.

It's too important not to.

Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches busy parents by phone to balance their life and improve their family relationships. For a FREE twenty minute sample session by phone; a FREE ecourse, ebooks, courses, articles, and a FREE newsletter, go to or email him at



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