Valuable Life Skills Children Learn Through Chores - Baby Chick
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Valuable Life Skills Children Learn Through Chores

Learn how children can develop self-sufficiency, teamwork, time management, and other important life skills through doing chores.

Published December 21, 2018

by Jessica Samson

Medically reviewed by Rachel Tomlinson

Registered Psychologist

As a parent, it’s tempting to let your children enjoy the carefree days of childhood without any real responsibility. We all want our children to be happy, and what’s more enjoyable than playing and creating without any obligation or accountability? On the surface, our children might be happier to unpack their toys, create carnage, and move on to the next game without so much as a backward glance. But in reality, learning to look after themselves and be responsible (which includes doing chores) is important for their well-being and functioning.1

Feelings of accomplishment, self-sufficiency, and independence contribute to a child’s enjoyment and fuel a sense of self-worth and happiness as they grow into adulthood.1 Chores will teach your children skills to create a strong, reliable foundation for a satisfying life and well-adjusted adulthood. Introducing chores at an early age and letting your children progressively take on more responsibility will help them develop positive habits. The life skills that children learn through chores will last a lifetime.

Valuable Life Skills Children Learn Through Chores

Here are some of the life skills that kids can learn by doing chores regularly:


“I can” might be two of the most important words your child will ever say to themselves, especially early in life. Allowing your children to complete household chores independently helps them develop that all-important grit and “can do” attitude. Merely knowing they can accomplish a task helps kids trust their abilities. It also makes them more willing to take on other tasks that may be unfamiliar or appear difficult.1

Remember that completing a task or chore alone is enough; their attempts don’t need to be perfect or well done. The feeling of self-sufficiency comes from achieving something, regardless of how well they did it. While it’s okay to guide them and help when necessary, knowing you have faith in their abilities to finish the job is the critical part at this stage of their development.


That sense of belonging that’s so important to your children is strengthened by giving them responsibility. A child who is given a chore will naturally feel that their contribution is valued and their help is necessary as a part of the family.2 Think of a job where you weren’t given any responsibility. You’ll know exactly how children feel when they don’t have a chance to contribute and be a part of the “team.”

Learning responsibility spills over into many other aspects of your children’s well-being. When you give your child the responsibility for accomplishing something, you nourish their self-worth, sense of reliability, and other parts of their psyche. Above all else, you show that you can count on them and that the family needs them.


Although letting young children complete chores without help is important, that doesn’t mean you can’t “work” side-by-side while instilling self-sufficiency. Developing an understanding of interdependency and teamwork is just as important as creating a sense of independence. Learning how to complete chores with others will give them the skills to build healthy relationships as they mature.1,2

The benefits of doing chores with your children are numerous. Not only do you get the chance to guide them in developing their skills for completing chores, but you also enjoy that sometimes elusive “quality time,” which is critical for you and your child. You can teach them that working together often results in a more desirable outcome and gets the job done quicker!

Routine and Structure

Children need structure and feel most comfortable when their lives follow a familiar routine.3 Consistently helping out with chores around the house, especially with a somewhat regular schedule, gives your children structure. Through this, they will learn how developing a routine helps them finish all their chores. As your children become more proficient in completing their responsibilities, their sense of accomplishment will grow.

Work Ethic

When kids become accustomed to routine chores, they will naturally understand the relationship between hard work and accomplishment. For instance, they may notice the simple correlation between scrubbing harder and a cleaner floor. The sense of well-being from putting in extra effort will go a long way to developing a strong work ethic.

Time Management

As your children get older, their progressively fuller schedule won’t allow them to focus exclusively on one routine or task. Getting things done regularly becomes more difficult. Juggling homework, their social life, and chores around the house will be challenging. Kids must develop new skills to handle the increasing demands on their time.4

With older children, it may be tempting to take some responsibilities off their plate and allow them to focus on pressing things like academics. After all, no parent wants to watch their child struggle to keep up with their responsibilities or fall behind in their studies. However, preventing your children from being overwhelmed by their schedule means they miss out on learning time management skills, which are essential in adulthood. Your children are perfectly capable of developing the coping skills needed to get through trying times.

Executive Functioning

Doing chores helps children with executive functioning. This is a set of mental skills that help people plan, problem-solve, and ultimately execute their goals.4 Household chores can help children develop these skills because these tasks require self-regulation. This means managing big feelings that can come up when delaying gratification or delaying something they want to do instead. Children also need to be able to switch between tasks and remember instructions.4

By fostering the life skills children learn through chores, you can take advantage of their most formative years to build good habits. When you help them develop the strong foundation these valuable life skills create, you give your children the tools they’ll need to grow into well-adjusted and dependable adults.

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Jessica Samson is a wife and mother who lives in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska. Read more

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