Why Children Need Chores

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Parents today want their kids spending time on things that can bring them success — learning Mandarin, earning a varsity letter, etc. — yet they’ve stopped asking their children to do one thing proven to lead to success — chores:

Decades of studies show the benefits of chores — academically, emotionally and even professionally.

Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance, according to research by Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. In 2002, Dr. Rossmann analyzed data from a longitudinal study that followed 84 children across four periods in their lives — in preschool, around ages 10 and 15, and in their mid-20s. She found that young adults who began chores at ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have good relationships with family and friends, to achieve academic and early career success and to be self-sufficient, as compared with those who didn’t have chores or who started them as teens.

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