metro mama

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Babe's Work Never Ends

There was an article in the Saturday Globe and Mail Focus section that really caught my attention. David Eddie wrote, getting your kids to do chores is key to their future success. He says a growing number of educators and child psychologists say forget the piano lessons and hand the kid a mop. He cites a study by the University of Minnesota that followed kids from age 3 until their 20s to determine what features of early childhood were good predictors of successful adulthood. Guess what the most reliable gauge was? Doing chores.

One of the researchers from the study suggests kids can start doing chores as young as age 2—at that age they can pick up toys, put their clothes in the hamper, put trash in the garbage, and sweep the floor. She warns against getting them involved too late (at 9 or 10) because by then they are “too old to be indoctrinated with the concept that we’re all in this together”. She thinks the chores are good for kids because they instil in them a sense of altruism and build self-esteem.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Cakes is only 16-months old and she is already doing chores. She:

unloads the dishwasher...

sweeps the floor...

folds the laundry...

My goal is by age 4 she will be doing all of the chores and I will be writing and drinking wine all day. I hope she turns out to be a good cook like her father.

Do you kids do chores? How old are they and what do they do?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kids (7 and 6) do dishes. Albeit badly, but still. They sweep, they tidy their rooms. They take their clothes down to the laundry room and bring the clean ones back up. They set the table. They gather the leaves in the yard in autumn...

Howza! My kids do a lot of work! No wonder they sleep so well!

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strawberry loves to help us. She fetches things we need for Buttercup and brings us the remote control. She puts things in the garbage and lets the cat outside. She really enjoys setting the table. We've only had one dish smash to the floor. (No big deal.)

I love the photos of Cakes! You've got the right idea. That sounds like the life.

11:23 AM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

funny, we were just talking about this. bee does all of the things that cakes does, but we figure that it is just another facet of play for her, and that she thinks it is for us as well. she just wants to be involved, so i'm careful never to shoo her away.
anyway, she should be scrubbing toilets in no time.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Jonathon said...

Little-E picks up her toys. But like you, I think we may need to graduate her to more demanding tasks. Like filling in for me at work.

Yes. That's it. I am a genius.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous ali said...

ah! i love those shots!
do my kids have chores? hmm...once a week, they, together with my nanny, clean their rooms and the basement. does that count? that's really about it.

what kind of chores can they actually do??

12:24 PM  
Blogger Gabriella said...

Samantha takes out the clothes from the dryer, so far that's it...but like you we hope to get her doing everything by the age of 4 so we can relax!!! heehee!

12:55 PM  
Blogger cinnamon gurl said...

My kid's too young (8 mos) to really do any chores but I'm curious to know how the study defined adult success.

1:36 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

Nate's been swiffering since he could crawl. Now he gets the important task of feeding the cat. He puts the food in her bowl one morsel at a time. It's the cutest.

Yeha, and like Jonathon said -- if only I could get him to go to work for me. He'd probably be more alert in meetings than I am.

2:31 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Love, love, love those pictures!!!!

My 5 month old doesn't do chores, not yet. Unless you count pulling my hair, shitting on my pants, creating lots of laundry and being the cutest thing in the world. All things that need to get done around here!

But seriously, my husband's father was a real task master, he always had tons and tons of chores to do growing up, and he is a very hard worker to this day. Maybe too hard. So it goes both ways, you know? Like anything, you need to have a happy medium. Yes I am a master of the obvious. :-)

3:07 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

love the action shots. mine unfolds the laundry.
cakes will have to give her some tips

4:02 PM  
Blogger myredwagon said...

Gracie loves to pull the folded laundry out of the basket piece by piece. I'll go easy until her first birthday - then I'm putting her to work!

8:54 PM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Man she is cute. Poor little Cinderella hard at work.

My guy is super helpful. He has "jobs" like putting things in the recycling bin, setting the table, washing the plastic dishes, tidying up after himself and he is really into the vaccuum. We'll see how long this all lasts :)

8:35 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

pumpkinpie is great for taking pieces of paper to the recycling box, taking laundry to throw over the gate (into the go-upstairs heap on the 2nd floor), choosing a spoon for herself. She tries to get involved in laundry folding, and we're just trying to teachher about folding, not wadding. We'll see...

6:45 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Great pictures!

Q likes to take a towel and "scrub" the floors. I sing "It's a Hard Knock Life" (the orphans from "Annie" sing this as they clean the orphanage) to keep him company. He's starting to be able to put his toys away too. I'm definitely encouraging that!

4:01 AM  
Blogger Kukka-Maria said...

What? People don't have children simply to do chores around the house?

That's not what my mom always told us...

12:45 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Do you think drinking wine during the day while you write is a good idea? I mean it would only make me sleepy....

5:07 PM  

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