DO YOUR CHORES

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Delicious On Sunday -

Re­cent re­search sug­gests that those shock-jock (and my Dad’s!) rants about the im­por­tance of chores in build­ing char­ac­ter might have a sker­rick of truth to them. It turns out, chores aren’t just good for teach­ing chil­dren so-called ‘soft skills’ like col­lab­o­ra­tion; chil­dren who do chores have better self­es­teem, learn to deal with de­layed grat­i­fi­ca­tion and other frus­tra­tions better, are more re­spon­si­ble and even do better at school. Im­por­tantly, re­search from the Univer­sity of Mis­sis­sippi re­veals that young kids (be­tween the ages of three and four) given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of chores (that, ide­ally, they’d helped choose) grew up to be more suc­cess­ful at work, aca­dem­i­cally and so­cially, as well as be­ing less likely to use drugs. The main thing to re­mem­ber here seems to be that the size of the task doesn’t mat­ter as much as the re­spon­si­bil­ity as­so­ci­ated with it. News buried in the Univer­sity of Mis­sis­sippi re­search found that forc­ing 15 to 16-year-olds to do chores had the op­po­site, neg­a­tive im­pact on the child’s fu­ture suc­cess. Ad­mit­tedly that’s good news for those of us too cow­ardly to tell the ter­ri­fy­ing tyran­ni­cal teen in the house that they have to do the wash­ing up tonight.

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