Understand how this aids in the child’s development and how it reflects in his or her adult life.
Storing toys, putting clothes in the basket for washing, helping to set the table… Tasks like these may seem trivial and unimportant in everyday life, but encouraging children from a young age to collaborate with household activities is important for their development and can turn your child into a diligent, hard-working adult.
This was one of the conclusions of an experiment called the Harvard Grant Study (still in progress), which has followed the lives of Harvard graduates since 1938 to find out why some people are more successful than others.
According to the results, children need two things early in life to be happy and successful:”love and work ethic”.
The Harvard researchers followed a group, which is part of the Grant Study and is made up of 268 Harvard graduates from the 1939-1944 classes. The group was closely monitored to see “what psychosocial variables and early biological processes predict health and well-being at the end of life. ”
One of the many highlights of the findings of these studies is that subjects who performed household chores as children grew up to be more independent adults, better able to work in collaborative groups, and better prepared to understand that while doing chores or working hard can be unpleasant, means being a valuable part of a community. Basically, this gives children the cornerstones for developing a “can do” attitude, which will fuel success in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships.
How to get children to collaborate
A psychologist Renata Bento, a child, adult, teenager and family specialist, and a member of the Brazilian Society of Psychoanalysis in Rio de Janeiro, explains how important it is to try to get around these issues. “The small child is willing and happy to help. This is eventually denied to her for not doing properly as an adult would do, or for the time it may take to complete the task, but encouraging children in housework contributes not only to the notion of responsibility, which will be in accordance with each age, as well as helping to build autonomy, ”says Renata.
She also explains that, in addition to this development of the independence of the little one, who is feeling able to perform some tasks, this collaborates in learning shared coexistence. “He learns to share in a space where everyone contributes and imprints his brand in some way, developing a sense of belonging, promoting responsibility and setting up the routine that is so important,” says the expert.
Learning for life
It is interesting to point out that it is not about “training” children to do something, but encouraging them to realize, through coexistence and emotional bonding, that they live in a collective world. Thus, in a playful way and with simple and clear tasks, parents can show the little ones, for example, that it is common to gather toys, turn off the light when leaving an environment, throw out the garbage, among other activities. “Everything must always be supervised by an adult. This contributes to the awareness of belonging first to your home and then to the world, ”she says.
The expert also says that this learning should be part of early childhood education, as it also contributed to the development of children and will reflect on adolescence and adulthood. “The sooner you begin to understand how to contribute to small tasks, the more you will be motivated for growth. It is necessary for the child to realize that doing the housework is up to everyone who lives in a house, that everyone contributes to taking care of that space that is collective and this is not a burden, but it is part of life, ”she explains.
The examples indoors
The little ones learn a lot by example and largely replicate the behavior of parents and other family members. With that in mind, it is natural to understand that if everyone at home has a habit of routinely collaborating with household activities, the child is more likely to want to contribute as well, as this will be stimulating for them.
“However, if household chores cause disruption and add weight to the home routine, it is possible that the child will react to it. It is important that the adult has this perception, so that he can observe what is characteristic of it and what may be interference from the environment, ”says the psychologist.
Renata also express the importance of not treating the children’s performance in these tasks with perfectionism, remembering that they are still learning. “Scolding and charging should be exchanged for encouragement, help, patience and praise. And parents should do everything possible to integrate children in this process in a playful and unhurried manner, respecting their abilities and age, ”she advises.
No gender differences
Finally, it is always worth remembering that there is no differentiation in the tasks assigned to boys and girls. “Domestic activities concern learning and caring for the space in which one lives, the limits between self and other, the construction of autonomy and independence, and the awareness of belonging. None of this is about gender, ”concludes the expert.