It is rather simple – chores are something we do for life, so why not start at a young age? If you want a successful child, it is best to go with this idea, as it has been proven even by scientific research.
The Harvard Grant Study, which has spanned for over 75 years, has identified that success and happiness depend on two factors: love and work ethic. While love makes for a happy life, work ethic is something which is paramount in success.
So, how to develop this kind of work ethic in your children? The Study has analyzed the experiences of 724 high-achievers (including President Kennedy and Watergate-era editor of The Washington Post Ben Bradlee) to find that they had one thing in common:
The “pitch-in” mindset
In her 20XX TED talk, Julie Lythcott-Haims notes that “professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids … comes from having done chores as a kid.”
“The earlier you started, the better,” as this kind of mindset will help your child to grasp the challenges in life as they come. “[A] roll-up-your-sleeves- and-pitch-in mindset, a mindset that says, there’s some unpleasant work, someone’s got to do it, it might as well be me … that that’s what gets you ahead in the workplace.”
Chores are an everyday part of life that is inevitable, and this challenge comes from a very young age for all of us. Protecting your child from this challenge is not only unhealthy but will lead to them being unable to handle all the challenges at once when they pile up.
Instead, gradually tossing in the chores they can do (and which are essential for their everyday functioning) is what will help them to develop a work ethic that will eventually lead them to great successes in life.
Of course, there is a catch
As giving your children chores will not reduce your work as a parent. In fact, what your child might do if you told them to clean the floor is what you would never think of doing to the floor – so you might end up doing the cleaning after all.
However, sometimes it is needed that you allow someone to do the job you can do better so that they can start learning from their experience and become as good. You need to let them learn through the process of doing and not interfere but only support.
Because, just as Lythcott-Haims says: “By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life. It’s not just about me and what I need in this moment.”
Watch her TED talk on How to Raise Successful Kids – Without Overparenting below and don’t forget to spread the awareness!