Science of Parenting: Chores for Kids

mother and child washing dishesAMES, Iowa — When asking their children to take out the garbage or to please help with the dishes, parents may feel like they might as well be talking to themselves, say family life specialists Donna Donald and Lori Hayungs. During August, they’ll talk about whether children should help with household chores in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Families are busy, but there’s a minimum amount of work that has to be done at home to keep things going,” Hayungs said. “So do you just give up and have the adults do all the work, or do you involve the kids in helping with daily chores? A better question might be, are chores for kids worth the hassle?”

The research says yes, Donald noted. “One study showed that the best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20s was that they participated in household tasks beginning when they were age three or four.”

During August, Donald and Hayungs will talk about the benefits and obstacles to children and youth doing chores. They also will discuss appropriate chores for children of different ages and ways to get the whole family involved. Learn more from tips on the blog throughout the month and in a four-minute podcast.

Through the Science of Parenting,, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents rear their children. Parents can join in the conversation and share thoughts and experiences, as well as how they handle parenting responsibilities.