There is always a debate about whether you should involve your kids in household chores, and if yes, at what age. While some people believe in the “let kids be kids” philosophy, there are actually so many things your kids can learn if you have them help out with backyard chores. From teaching them about responsibility and diligence through practical life skills to raising their own self-esteem, backyard chores build your kids’ character in numerous ways. Moreover, not only will it provide quality bonding time for your family, but it will also take at least some burden off your shoulders as you won’t have to do everything on your own. If you are still not convinced, here is how backyard chores can benefit your child and what you should keep in mind.
It teaches them responsibility
One of the most important lessons your kids will learn while working in the backyard concerns responsibility. Assign a specific task to them and actually hold them accountable for it. Even if they aren’t keen on it at first, soon, they will find their work important as it is them and them alone who is responsible for it. For example, have a flowerpot or a plant that your kid is in charge of watering, and not only will it give them a great purpose, but they will surely learn about responsibility along the way too. In the end, they will feel very accomplished when the flower finally blooms. Thus, successfully completing the tasks they are assigned will also make them proud and raise their self-esteem.
It teaches them work ethic
While some parents find it too early to introduce their kids into the world of work, others consider work ethic an essential notion to be taught at an early age.
It is true that they will need to learn sooner or later that they need to do the tasks they are assigned in a satisfactory way in order to be rewarded for it. However, when it comes to the question of pocket money, you have to consider it carefully whether you want to make a habit of giving your child an allowance for the chores they complete. On the one hand, getting allowance might motivate them to do their chores conscientiously and regularly, especially if they are trying to save up for something special. On the other hand, keeping the two things separate would send the message that they have to help around the backyard given that they are a member of the family. It’s up to you to decide how you want to go about this; however, a combination of the two might prove to be the best option.
Learning skills that they will need later in life
Another important thing your kids can develop and work on via doing backyard chores are social and cooperation skills. Many tasks in the backyard will require several people working together in order to achieve results. For example, raking the leaves and putting them into sacks will require some teamwork, which will provide your kid with experience in this field. They will also often need to listen to your instructions and follow them accurately, which is yet another important social skill.
Moreover, by doing backyard chores, they will also obtain many practical skills – skills that they won’t learn in school or from books, but will certainly come in handy at one point in their lives.
Things to keep in mind
Firstly, you must always take into account the age and skill level of your child when choosing the chores for them. Having them do something that’s just a tad bit difficult for them will make them (and possibly you) frustrated. For example, if they are still small, they can help out a bit with watering the plants or sweeping the driveway. If they are older, it’s time to get some garden secateurs and get down to some more complex but also more interesting tasks.
Moreover, attitude is everything when it comes to doing backyard chores. If you always complain about having to mow the lawn “yet again”, chances are your kid will perceive backyard chores as something bothersome too. Thus, always try to be enthusiastic about it and make it as fun as possible. Be a good role model.
Having your kids help out with the backyard chores is more than a great idea if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard. Besides helping them develop their character via teaching them about responsibility, work ethic, cooperation, etc., it is also a healthy activity that will keep them outdoors instead of playing on their phones for at least a couple of hours at a time – something that many kids don’t experience enough nowadays. While acquiring practical skills, they will also have fun and learn to appreciate nature, so don’t hesitate to assign some tasks to your kids!
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