Should You Make Your Kids Do Chores?

As a stay-at-home mum of nearly 16 years you're probably thinking why I would even ask this question, I mean, don't I have lots of time to get all the chores done? So why would I want to make my kids do chores? But I don't give my kids chores to do because I don't want to have to do the work, there are so many other reasons (that I'm about to go into) and as you'll gather my answer to the question 'Should you make your kids do chores?' is yes - definitely, yes.

Benefits of Chores

Teach life skills

First of all how did you learn how to do all the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of yourself? You had chores when you were young right? You had to learn how to cook things, how to clean your home so it was neat and tidy, and you learned that taking care of yourself means you can also take care of others. And it's the same with your kids.


Say you ask your older kids to do the vacuuming. They'll protest and try to not do it, but in the end they're learning an essential skill. The same goes for anything like that, eventually they're going to have to do these things for themselves anyway, so why not teach them how to do it while you can monitor them?

Learn self reliance & responsibility

Like I just said, eventually your kids are going to have to take care of themselves. It could be when they go off to University or it could be later (or sooner!) but they will have to do it. They'll have to stand on their own two feet and do all the things you've always done for them. If they've had years of doing chores by the time they move out they'll know how to look after their home. They will have learned to look after themselves and realise they don't need any help. 

Every child must have chores to do. It gives them dignity in work and the joy of labor.

Earl Hamner Jr.

By giving your kids chores to do when they are young you're teaching them how to rely on themselves, how to take responsibility for jobs that need doing, and you're helping their self-esteem. It may not seem like it at the time, what with all the arguing, but giving your kids chores is a good thing.

Boost self-esteem

Knowing that they can take care of themselves is bound to boost your kids' self-esteem. If you were to fall ill, for example, and your kids could look after you (even if it's just a little) it can make the whole experience easier on everyone. Giving your children chores is teaching them to believe in themselves, when they complete a chore and do a good job they can be proud they've achieved something. 


Improve planning and time management

As parents we know that getting kids to realise there's only a short time for activities after school is a constant battle. With two kids who attend school I have a routine where they do chores after arriving home and once homework and chores are done their time is their own. By having this routine I give them a chance to manage their own time, if they work fast the chores get done quickly and they can play video games or talk to friends sooner but if they delay and try to get out of doing chores they take longer and the kids have less time for the things they want to do. I'm teaching them to manage their time and this can only help them in future.

Build a strong work ethic

Working hard for a living is a good thing, whether it's taking care of your family (like me) or going out to work (like my Hubby) you have to work hard to get the things you want. It's a life skill I want to instil in my children, having a strong work ethic is a valued trait. Knowing they have to work hard, and being not only willing but eager to do so will help them when it comes to getting a job when they grow up. They'll be ready to work, not afraid of working hard, and as a result will probably do better in any job they may have.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Frederick Douglass

Teaching your kids that working hard is a good thing will help them in the future - no matter what they decide to do.

Why I make my kids do chores

My boys have had chores since they were young and know they need to be done everyday. I made the decision to give them chores because they started to rely on me for everything. I had to find things that were 'lost', I had to make them breakfast everyday, I even had to wake them up in a morning. I didn't want to teach my boys there would be someone to do everything for them wherever they were and they needed to learn to rely on themselves for things. It was important that, while I am a stay-at-home mum I'm not relied upon for absolutely everything. 


Some people may think it's awful to make my kids do chores when I'm home all day anyway and they have to do school work but how else are they going to learn? Who would teach them to look after their own home when they're older if I don't? As a stay-at-home mum I do chores every day - no days off - and it's hard, but I didn't give my kids chores to ease my work, I gave them chores to teach them and I will continue to do so because that is my job.

Do you make your kids do chores?