Listen up, moms and dads! It turns out that household chores might be just as important as homework. And that's not all: You may be doing chores in your home the wrong way!
Experts say that giving chores to young children builds a lasting sense of self-reliance, responsibility and feelings of success. Helping maintain the family home teaches kids to be empathetic by becoming responsive to other people's needs while instilling a sense of confidence in their own abilities to fill those needs.
Parents often underestimate their own children's abilities. Maria Montessori, the woman behind the Montessori philosophy, developed the pretty radical idea at the time of giving even the youngest children substantial chores. Her schools continue to use this idea based on the premise that kids learn from doing. She believed that all children have an innate desire to be needed and helpful.
Montessori believed that a 2-year-old can help with laundry. A 6-year-old can empty a dishwasher. A 12-year-old can shop for groceries. Are you underestimating your child when it comes to chores at your house?
You might be surprised at what Montessori shows that young children can do. Check out the Montessori School Chore Chart, broken out by age, to see if you are giving your children enough responsibility.
Everyone loves to feel needed. It is our job as parents to turn that need into an altruistic desire to not only help others, but also to feel a sense of happiness from helping and being able to help.