Household chores are more than inconvenient necessities or things to “make” your children do: They can function as building blocks for a young person’s development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even established a set of milestone criteria parents can use to both gauge their child’s development and make inroads toward longer-term developmental goals.
Including children as young as 2 or 3 in certain daily chores can help with their development. Chores allow children to sharpen their time-management skills, deal with stress, and instill a higher capacity for responsibility and independent functioning.
GoHenry researched how specific chores can contribute to developing skills and responsibility among children. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends considering age-appropriate activities in which a child can efficiently complete tasks—from 2-year-olds putting toys away to a 12-year-old washing a car.
Chores also help connect each child to the greater family unit. Once a child completes a task, the child can feel a sense of pride in contributing to the household. The extra help can also reduce household stress, strengthen relationships, and often impart valuable interpersonal skills such as agreement and negotiation.
A multi-discipline study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy in 2014 found children’s routines and habits, including their involvement in things like chores, coalesce early and have little variation between third and 12th grade. This means instilling the habit, discipline, and expectation of doing chores can have immediate and long-term benefits for maturation.