Kids spending less than a half hour a day doing chores

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens

child vacuumingThe next time your kiddo complains about having to vacuum the living room or clear the dishes, you can pull out that famous phrase, "When I was your age...." At study of over 1,300 children recently found that kids between the ages of 6 and 12 are spending just 24 minutes a day on chores, a 12% drop from just a decade ago, and 25% less time than in 1981.

Experts believe that, in general, kids have fewer chores because their parents do less housework. This, says Dr. Sandra Hofferth, study author, is a major sociological shift that could impact kids for the rest of their lives. Letting Junior out of chores to pursue more "constructive" activities might seem like a good idea, but chores are life skills. If kids don't understand the benefit behind doing them, or even how to do them, what happens when they get out on their own?

Most chores at my house are met with complaints and groans. I have a few standard lines that outline concepts my kids are slowly starting to understand:
  • "We take care of our things so that they last."
  • "We're a family and we help each other out."
  • "When you are finished with something, put it away."
That last one is usually the most effective in the short-term, but my hope is the first three are what will eventually help them realize that chores are just a necessary part of life.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.