Kids Who Do Chores Are More Successful Adults

by Valerie Williams
Image via Shutterstock

Get ready to hand your kid a broom

Guess what, parents? Although in the end it will probably just result in more work for us, we can now hand our kids a sponge without an ounce of guilt. A researcher says making children do chores will increase their success in life as adults.

This sounds lovely, but sometimes, we just want the laundry put away in the right drawers.

According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of the book How to Raise an Adult, kids need to do chores in order to be successful adults. She tells Tech Insider, “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.”

She spoke at a TED Talks Live event about her research, which is being done through a Harvard Grant Study and is the longest-running longitudinal study every conducted, according to Good Housekeeping. In the TED Talk, Lythcott-Haims says, “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.”

That’s cool, research lady. It really does make sense. But do you have any idea how much shit we already have to beg our kids to do any given day? I called today a victory because both of my kids brushed their teeth the first time I asked and haven’t killed each other yet on this, the fifth day of their week off from school. If I asked them to do chores, they’d listen, but they’d whine. And they’d do a shoddy job. Ain’t no momma got time for that noise.

Of course, us parents realize that making our kids do chores has obvious benefits that we don’t need a Harvard Grant to figure out. It teaches them responsibility and teamwork and future life skills and blah, blah, blah, but sometimes, I just want my dishes put away properly. And without a knockdown, drag-out argument with my tween.

We can grudgingly accept that kids doing chores is a positive thing, but can we amend it to kids doing chores once they’re old enough for it to not mean more work for us? Have you seen the results when a child sweeps the floor? Not exactly perfection. We’ll give you this one, science. But we aren’t happy about it.