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Should My Child Do Chores?

Should My Child Do Chores? In the face of an examinations-focused education system, parents are naturally concerned about their children’s learning and development. In this article, we discuss how children can learn life skills and build character by contributing appropriately to their own families.

Domestic helpers are increasingly being seen as essential to the smooth running to many Singaporean households. Singapore plays host to more than 255,000 domestic workers who work in one in five of all households. In a longitudinal study, the Singapore Children’s Society reported evidence that more children are being cared for by domestic helpers in recent years. With more dual income families and a rapidly ageing population, this number is set to increase.

While many argue that children should focus on their academics and co-curricular activities. I would argue that household chores – which are necessary but effortful aspects of maintaining a home – provide our children with important lessons growing up.

Helping With Chores Builds Independence

Most parents help to prepare their children for school, and pick up after their kids when they make a mess. However, by the time they’re in kindergarten, your children have the skills to take charge of much of their personal care.

Guiding them to do so trains these capabilities, and gives them a sense of achievement when they complete their tasks.

The Star provides a list of age-appropriate chores below that parents can consider:

Helping With Chores Encourages Graciousness

Many families see both parents away from the home for most of the day. During this time, children are left to the care of domestic helpers. While many parents have observed that their children were a handful to manage, they were divided about whether they would empower their helpers to discipline their child.

Children mirror their parents’ behaviours. In their interactions with helpers and grandparents, parents should be mindful that they are role models for their children.

The key here is respect. Show your kids you respect the people around you, and in return, they will learn to respect others, especially to the helper who is with the family 24/7.

Ms. Van Essa, a domestic helper

Instead of simply telling children to pick up after themselves and to put their things away, it is helpful if parents demonstrate these acts in their daily lives. When parents are respectful, they provide their children with positive examples of how they should themselves treat others.

Should My Child Do Chores? Take Things A Step At A Time

When teaching your child household skills and building their ability to care for themselves, it is important not to rush the process. Even though some tasks seem painfully obvious to you, be reminded that you have had a lifetime of learning these motor skills and discipline. That your children will need time to make small, steady improvements.

Young Parents recommends that parents should be specific about their instructions, and praise their children when their attempts succeed. To get their children into a habit of thinking ahead regarding their needs and the consequences of their actions.

Does your child do chores or help out around the house? Have some thoughts about the topic? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

Have a suggestion as to what we should write about next? Feel free to get in touch with us! Or check out our past articles catered for parents and on Parenting in 2020.

About author

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Shaun is Founder of Learnable. Through Learnable, Shaun hopes to help learners optimise their efforts to achieve better results over time. Prior to Learnable, Shaun was previously with the Economic Strategy team in the Ministry of Finance, where he led policy development and strategic financing of key national initiatives. Shaun also brings with him deep experience in entrepreneurship, having served as Director, Strategy & Growth at TwinRock, co-founder of 40Tasks, and Editor-in-Chief of Matchmove. In his (very limited) free time, Shaun likes singing, and hiking. His poison: kopi-o-kosong ping. Get in Touch!
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