As a mompreneur who juggles all the things, it’s important for me to teach my kids the value of hard work.
I remember growing up with my grandparents and helping my grandma around the house. I don’t recall her ever handing me a list of specific things to do, but I always felt like it was something I needed to do. Sometimes she’d ask me to do specific tasks, but I think it was just understood that I should help around the house — even when I wasn’t asked. That’s just the way I was raised.
I’d clean my bedroom and take pride in having an organized space that I could enjoy. Everything had a home, and this meant that I didn’t just toss things on the floor or on top of my bed. I’d also wash clothes and put them away. I dusted my grandma’s collection of brass decorations and our tropical rattan furniture. I swept the floor and I took out the garbage, too. I grew up in a somewhat strict household in Puerto Rico with certain rules in place, but I also had a lots of fun.
I believe that having chores and structure at home helped prepare me for the future, and that’s something I want to pass on to my girls. You need to be dedicated and put in the work if you want to achieve great things. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything. If you fail, get up and try again. Keep at it and you will succeed. That’s what I was taught early in life and that’s what I hope to instill in my daughters, Grace and Gianna.
I recently read an article from Inc. titled “Kids Who Do Chores Are More Successful in Life.” According to this article, researchers identified two things that are needed for people to be both happy and successful. First, love. Second, work ethic. And what better way to develop a good work ethic than by giving children responsibilities? It helps build independence and makes them feel like they’re contributing something important to the household.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean at Stanford University and the author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, says that “professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids… comes from having done chores as a kid.”
She added, “[A] roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in-mindset, a mindset that says, there’s some unpleasant work, someone’s got to do it, it might as well be me… that’s what gets you ahead in the workplace.”
So how do I handle my kids’ chores? I usually give them a sheet that lists what I’d like them to do that day or even that week. My 8-year-old reads the list and check things off as she does them. She also helps her little sister, who’s 5 and learning to read. Their chores range from putting their clothes away after I wash them, to sweeping, picking up the toys in the playroom, organizing their bathroom drawers, and cleaning up their room. Most of the tasks are simple, but they feel a sense of accomplishment when they’ve completed a task and I get some help around the house.
Full disclosure: They aren’t always happy about their chores. Sometimes, they don’t even want to do them, but I remind them that it’s important to pitch in and help.
Do your kids have chores? I’d love to hear what works for you!