What are the pros and cons of giving kids chores?

What are the pros and cons of giving kids chores?

Are you weighing the benefits of asking your child to start helping around the house? If so, it can be hard to know what's suitable for your child, what chores they can handle, and, more importantly, what tasks they want to do. So here are some of the pros and cons of chores for kids.


Pros of giving kids chores

There are a lot of benefits to giving kids chores which can help set your kids up for adult life.


  1. Chores give your child a sense of pride. Completing chores can give your child a sense of pride and accomplishment, boosting their self-esteem. 

  2. Chores help your child understand time management. Tackling chores can help teach your child how to manage their time, especially if they want to finish their chores quickly to get back to something else. 

  3. Chores teach various life skills. All kinds of chores build great life skills, such as cleaning, cooking and managing a household. This is hugely important for kids of all ages.

  4. Chores instil responsibility – Chores can help teach your child responsibility and the importance of following through on a commitment. 

  5. Chore help with problem-solving. Even simple tasks like pairing up socks can help teach your child excellent problem-solving skills.

  6. Chores show kids that they are capable. When kids do chores, they learn that their contributions are valuable. 

  7. Chores teach your kids that hard work pays off. When kids do chores, they learn that hard work is rewarding. This can help them develop a strong work ethic.

  8. Chores teach your kids teamwork. When kids do chores together or with you, they learn the importance of working and cooperating with others.


Cons of giving kids chores

There are, of course, some downsides to giving children chores.


  1. Chores can be stressful. This is often the case if tasks are too complex or time-consuming for kids. This can lead to arguments and tantrums.

  2. Chores can eat into free time. Children need time to play, relax, and be creative. If they spend too much time doing chores, they may feel resentful.

  3. Chores can be seen as a punishment. If chores are not presented positively, children may see them as a punishment. This can lead to negative associations with chores and a reluctance to do them.

  4. Chores can feel unfair. If tasks are not assigned fairly, children may think they are being treated unfairly. This can lead to resentment and a lack of cooperation.

  5. Chores can teach kids that tasks are transactional. When children are paid for chores without an explanation, they may start to see chores as a way to get money rather than as a way to contribute to the household. 

  6. Chores can cause family arguments. This usually occurs when expectations aren't set correctly or kids misinterpret what chores are.

When should kids start doing chores?

It pays to get your child involved with chores from an early age. For example, putting their toys away or tidying their rooms. Whatever age you start, the important thing is to pick age-appropriate chores. 


Sue Atkins, Family Parenting Expert and author of Parenting Made Easy, says: "The best way to set chores is to do it incrementally; start with small, simple chores and gradually increase the difficulty and complexity so kids can learn new skills and develop a sense of responsibility. Incremental chores can also help kids feel like they are making a difference and contributing to the family team."


You'll also need to think about how many chores to give your child. Too many chores might be overwhelming, especially if they have a lot of after-school work and activities.


Should I pay my children pocket money for doing chores?

Rewards are one of the simplest ways to motivate your children to do chores, and not all rewards need to be financial. You could give your child treats, a later bedtime, or more screen time. However, giving your child pocket money for doing chores can teach them the value of money and an understanding of what it means to work for money.


If you give your child pocket money for doing chores, you'll also need to decide how much money to give as a reward. You can see the average for each chore by looking at our Youth Economy Report.


How can GoHenry help

GoHenry is a prepaid debit card for kids with a companion app that makes it easy for parents to give their children pocket money for doing chores. With GoHenry, parents can quickly and easily set up tasks and pay their child's pocket money when they are marked complete. This helps children learn responsibility and the value of work.




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Written by GoHenry Published Aug 8, 2023 ● 3 min. read