Children are great learners and what they learn has a profound effect upon their trajectory in later life. Doing jobs around the house helps make children both capable in their own personal activities of daily living, while also teaching them the importance of cooperation and contributing to the overall running of the household.
For example, by standing on a chair, children can learn how to wash dishes, make their own breakfast, cook simple meals and wash their own laundry and do their own ironing. Without the chair, they can feed pets, navigate digital devices, mop floors, clean cars, mow lawns, fix basic IT problems, do gardening and vacuum the house – all by about the age of 6-8 years.
If children cannot do these tasks by this age they may be at a disadvantage amongst their peers and more prone to getting bullied. As a clinical psychologist with 25+ years’ experience I see huge discrepancies in children’s levels of capability.
Children without these types of skills at young ages tend to struggle more with self-esteem, physical coordination, taking initiative, social interaction and mental organisation and discipline and they are more frequently bullied.
On the other hand, children who are highly capable at young ages get into a socially reinforced cycle of good outcomes.
They learn to lead the way and teach other children how to develop these skills, earning them respect and better self-esteem while providing them with important practice at leadership, clear communication, planning, physical coordination and mental precision and coherence.