Help your kids Develop Positive Character Traits by giving them chores
One day I was at the store with my younger kids. They pointed out the behavior of another kids at the store.
“Look at that boy. He’s throwing a fit. I’m not going to act that way. I’m not going to throw a fit.”
Initially I was a little surprised my kids noticed the behavior of other kids. And I felt proud they decided to act differently. But of course, once we were in the checkout line their default behavior kicked in. I said no to buying them candy and they threw a fit.
I asked, “Didn’t you just tell me you weren’t going to throw a fit?” The reply, “But I want candy!!”
As my kids have gotten older, I learned a lesson that has helped me over and over again:
It’s more important to teach kids positive character traits than point out negative behavior.
Yes, it is helpful that your kids recognize negative behavior. But, honestly, negative behavior is often the default. If we are tired, hungry, upset or bored we are more likely to whine and complain. We are much more likely to default to those negative behavior traits.
Default behavior may not be what you want or expect from your kids. You cannot expect your kids to have positive behavior and show positive character traits just by telling them.
No matter what default behavior your kids were born with, you can help with, you can help them learn a new default. You can help teach them positive character traits and give them opportunities to practice those traits at home.
To keep a positive attitude and show positive character traits is a learned skill. Just like any skill, these positive character traits need to be practiced over and over again – until they become the new default.
What are Positive Character Traits?
Positive character traits are simply positive qualities or characteristics. Sometimes these qualities come naturally in your child. Your kids may be exceptionally kind, happy or brave all on their own.
But, positive character traits can and should be developed. Through practice, your kids can learn how to be more compassionate, patient, appreciative, and helpful.
This article has a great list of 84 positive character traits.
Let your Kids practice Positive Character Traits by giving them chores
This post is all about how giving kids chores helps them develop positive character traits. These are just a few of the traits your kids can learn by doing chores:
Learning positive character traits doesn’t happen over night. It’s something that requires practice and regular effort. Your kids will have plenty of opportunities to act and react to different situations in life. In those moments they won’t always take the time to think ahead. They are just going to act.
Before your kids go out into the world and are faced with a variety of situations, it’s important to provide teaching opportunities where your kids can practice positive character traits.
One of the opportunities to practice is by giving your kids chores.
How Kid Chores Help Develop Positive Character Traits
Honestly, not too long ago, I didn’t think about kid chores and building character. I thought kid chores were just so kids would learn how to clean up after themselves and prepare them to live on their own as adults.
And of course, kid chores meant I didn’t have to do all of the chores myself.
But a recent experience helped me realize kid chores do help build character. Having regular chores gives kids the opportunity to practice skills that develop positive character traits.
My Experience with Kid Chores
I try my best to raise my kids to be self-sufficient, kind and responsible. Over the years I thought I was doing a pretty good job at promoting positive character traits in my own kids.
Plenty of articles and Ted talks teach about the importance of kid chores, so I assigned my kids chores. I want my kids to learn to be responsible and how to manage their time.
So, I really thought giving my kids chores was helping them develop positive character traits. But then their behavior started changing and I rethought my plan.
Recently, My kids have been Acting Entitled
They expect me to buy whatever they ask for.
They expect me to take them wherever they want to go.
And they need more reminders to be kind to each other.
Honestly, they have been acting kind of selfish and self-centered.
How Did This Happen?
I took a step by and thought – what happened? How did we get here? I realized between after school activities and sending my kids outside because the weather is so nice, I’ve slowly taken on more and more of their chores.
Instead of sticking to our regular chore routine, I’ve found myself saying – Don’t worry, I’ll take care of that for you. And without realizing it, I’ve taken over THEIR responsibilities. And I truly believe this has contributed to their self-centered behavior.
Chores do help
We’ve gotten back into our regular chore routine and I can honestly say the behavior is much better. My kids are practicing positive character traits. Their default behavior is more positive and less self-centered. It has been pretty amazing to watch.
Chores for Kids is Important
Chores are one of the best ways to teach your kids positive character traits. These responsibilities will help them learn to be responsible, self-sufficient, how to manage their time and so many more.
Do You want to Improve Your Kids’ Behavior
Do your kids need:
- to reset from self-centered behavior
- learn how to take care of basic chores around the house
- to learn positive character traits
This is just the first installment about chores. In coming posts, here’s what will be covered in regards to kid chores:
- Age Appropriate Chores
- How to hold your kids accountable
- How to teach kids to complete their chores
- What to do when things don’t go as planned
Watch This TED talk to learn more about how Chores Help Kids
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Kid Chores
Kid chores are about much more than keeping your house clean or putting your kids to work so you don’t have to do the work yourself. Chores develop your kids’ character.
I don’t think I need to convince any mom on the importance of having their kids do chores. But, I do want to emphasis there are so many benefits of kids doing chores. It’s way more than just having help around the house or making sure your kids know how to do their laundry before they leave home.
Let’s be honest. You know that just like any part of parenting, teaching your kids how to do something is MUCH harder than doing the task yourself.
I like what I heard recently – what you can do in 15 mins will take your kid 30 minutes to finish. And if you ask 2 kids to do the same task, it will take them 45 mins to an hour.
If you’re willing to do the work upfront and teach your kids how to do their chores you and your kids will truly benefit.
Today’s challenge is to evaluate the kid chore situation in your family. Do you want it to be different? Think of one change your family can make this week. Let me know what change your family is making in the comments below.
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