Creative Child

This Is the Second Most Important Thing You Can Do to Ensure Your Child Grows Up Happy and Successful.

by Deborah Song

What are two things people need in order to grow up happy and successful?

The first is love.

The second? Work ethic.

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The Harvard Grant Study found that professional success in life comes from having done chores as a kid. Instilling the idea that someone’s got to do it, even if it’s not fun, and that it might as well be me because we all have to pitch in, is what seems to tremendously help people get ahead in life. And the earlier you start, the better.

Most parents like the concept of teaching their kids how to contribute, however menial the effort. But why this good theory often fails to execute is because of expectations: having kids to chores is going to be more work for parents, not less.

I personally dread having my kids do chores because I often have to reorganize the clothes they put in their drawers, or clean up spilled water when they try to help me set the table. If you don’t give up on the idea of always having things done your way, getting kids to do chores is going to be an uphill battle. Instead, the idea is to settle for good enough and fight the urge to redo their work, which would send the discouraging message that their efforts aren’t good enough.

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So yes, it’s tougher to get your kids to do chores. At least at first anyway. But by assigning responsibilities to kids, parents would be teaching their little ones work ethic instead of entitlement. Second to love, work ethic is the most important thing you can teach your child to ensure success and happiness, research shows.

Chores also fulfill a need we don’t tend to focus on for kids. It makes them feel needed. By giving a child some responsibilities, they will see their place in the family.

Should you give allowance for chores?

Many experts frown upon allowance for chores. They assert kids shouldn’t get paid for something they should be doing anyway.

But trying to motivate kids to do chores is not always easy. Instead of direct allowance, I find that a point system, which eventually does translate to some form of privilege, works great with my kids. If the best consequences mirror real life, instilling some sort of positive reinforcement for a job well done, could teach kids that a job well done won’t go unnoticed.

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