This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Should kids have more chores?

Should kids have more chores?  Should they use a chore chart? I think that chores are so important to our kids’ sense of well-being.  It gives them a sense of meaning in our family and teaches responsibility.

I have always wanted our kids to have age-appropriate chores, but sometimes we are just so busy that I’d love to just skip them!  However, after reading this, I think I’ll find the time…

Two kids standing on a bed having a pillow fight.

Harvard Study Proves Kids With Chores Became Independent Successful Adults

“Research from a well-known 75-year Harvard study examined what psychosocial variables and biological processes from earlier in life predict health and well-being later in life. Researchers found that children who were given chores became more independent adults.”

They go onto say, “Kids feel competent when they do their chores. Whether they’re making their bed or they’re sweeping the floor, helping out around the house gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Doing chores also helps kids feel like they’re part of the team. Pitching in and helping family members is good for them and it encourages them to be good citizens.”

These things lead to success.  Success in a job, success in raising a family, success in running a household…  no matter the area, they learn that contribution and hard-work are needed to achieve their goal.

Are kids too busy for chores?
A young boy lying on a red wagon looking up to the sky.

According to Boston Globe:  “By at least some accounts, tasks, like doing the laundry or cleaning up after dinner, have fallen off kids’ to-do lists. In a Braun Research poll of 1,001 parents last year commissioned by Whirlpool, the appliance manufacturer, just 28 percent said they regularly assign chores to their kids, even though 82 percent said they grew up doing chores themselves.

It isn’t hard to imagine the reasons for this shift. Tightly packed schedules can leave kids little time for housework — which, unlike calculus assignments or soccer practice, probably won’t influence college admissions decisions.

Some parents may want to spare their children the drudgery they endured. Others may find that nagging kids to do their chores is more of a burden than they bargained for.”

Chores help kids become successful adults
A girl holding a rake near a pile of leaves.

“When young people have been expected to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, and to ask how they can contribute to the household, it leads to a mindset of pitching in in other settings, such as the workplace,” Lythcott-Haims said.

Not giving kids chores, she added, “deprives them of the satisfaction of applying their effort to a task and accomplishing it.”

In fact, A University of Minnesota 20 year study found that the best predictor of adult success was based on if they had begun doing chores at an early age… as young as 3 or 4.   It’s never too late to start.

MAKE IT FUN: Kids get excited as they draw their next chore from this container of labeled popsicle sticks, reducing the anxiety of asking them to help out around the house.

Give them a reward, like extra screen time.  (No more guilt for giving your kids screen time… they can EARN it!) 

How to get started with Chores:  Print these Chore Cards
Cards to swap chores for screen time by yourmodernfamily

The easiest way to get started with chores? Just start!   

Today or tomorrow, print off these Chore Cards, cut them apart, and put them into a basket.
Let your kids pick a chore. Start off with one or two. I usually have our kids based on their age.

Example :
3, 4, or 5 years old = 2 cards.
6, 7, or 8 years old = 3 cards
9, 10, or 11 years old = 4 cards.
12, 13, 14, 15 = 5 cards.

After they complete their chores, have them put the chore back into the basket. These chores are quick to complete, so they won’t spend too much time on them, but they will be learning responsibly from them.

You could even have rules like “1 chore + normal responsibilities (make the bed, clean up dish after meals) during the week, and more chore cards on the weekend when we have more time.” Whatever works for you!

Check out these posts: 
chores by age

alternative to chore charts

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. The MOST NEEDED LESSONS TODAY , FOR CHILDRENS FEELING OF SELF WORTH. ..THEY MAY NOT THINK SO.. BUT ITS A FEELING THEY WILL NOT GET ANYWHERE ELSE. i like the cards and have used them with my grand children twelve they even tackled learning to cut tile. , we made it fun

  2. I am 12 years old, but have many responsibilities. In just my house I have 9 people living with me, but we also have over 60 animals to care for. Often my siblings and I complain that no one else has to work and life is unfair. However I have learned that my chores help me become responsible and I have learned that if I ever want to go somewhere in life these chores will help me. Having chores is very important because they help you grow into a better person.

  3. Kids feel competent when they do their chores. Whether they’re making their bed or they’re sweeping the floor, helping out around the house gives them a sense of accomplishment.Doing chores also helps kids feel like they’re part of the team. Pitching in and helping family members is good for them and it encourages them to be good citizens.

  4. I am now 25 years old and I never had chores as a kid. My mom did everything for me. I have to say this has had a very negative impact on me. It’s strange to complain about someone doing something for you but in this case it applies. I am having to teach myself basic life skills now and my sense of responsibility is unsettlingly low. My friends who had chores are becoming well adjusted adults and I feel left behind and unequipped to handle life. From someone who didn’t have chores, please, give your kids chores. I know I will.

  5. Your commitment and also relationship have been of excellent worth to us throughout the years. We thanks from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do!