Put your kids to work this summer. Science says it’s good for them


Having your kids do chores around the house is one of the best ways to help them succeed later in life.

Summer vacation is in full swing and schoolwork has been set aside, but parents are still asking kids to pitch in with work around the house. If you’re asking your kids to help out with daily duties, we’ve got some good news for you: Kids who do chores at home are more likely to be professionally successful later in life. It’s a double win, as you can outsource some of your housekeeping work and give your children lasting benefits!

Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University and author of How to Raise an Adult, has made it her mission to encourage parents to put their kids to work, including through her viral TED Talk.  She explains some of the reasons that chores help a child succeed later on:

“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them. And so they’re absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole.”

Besides learning how to contribute to the greater good, these are some of the many benefits of kids doing chores:

  • Working towards competence and mastery of a skill builds self-confidence.
  • Joining in Mom and Dad’s hard work gives kids appreciation for all their parents do, and prevents entitlement.
  • Kids will be much better prepared for adult life if they are able to clean and cook on their own.

If you’d like to put your kids to work, but don’t know quite where to start, this chart helpfully outlines developmentally appropriate responsibilities:


Flanders Family

Summer is the perfect time to focus on building good habits of work and responsibility, “laying down the rails” for your family train to run along smoothly before school starts up again. If you’re feeling unsure about making your kids fold their own laundry and empty the dishwasher, drop that guilt! It’s one of the best things you can do for them, and someday their successful adult selves will be grateful.

Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.