We all know that assigning chores to children is a smart and effective way to instill virtuous behavior. Virtues such as consideration, sacrifice, and humility come to mind. In fact, there numerous virtues to be learned by being responsible for chores. For example, children learn that they are part of something bigger than themselves, that they have important contributions to make, or perhaps they’ll learn the art of cooperation as they work with other family members for a common goal.
Chores can teach children self sufficiency and responsibility and instill in them that others rely on them. This has special significance for children with ADHD. According to ADDititude website, “chores teach responsibility and self-discipline, develop skills for independent living, counteract ADHD behavior problems, and make the child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) a contributing member of the family.”
A couple of rules for using a household chore strategy with your ADHD child
- keep it age appropriate
- keep your expectations in check
- keep giving positive feedback and encouragement
One golden rule to follow is to resist the urge to do the chore yourself, even if you can do it better and faster. Also, don’t be too exacting and definitely don’t redo the finished chore. The primary point is the learning experience for your child, secondary is getting the job done exactly as if you did it yourself.
In sum, each instance of a child actively participating in family life holds many teachable moments, some may be obvious and some may not be readily apparent, but all of these moments are meaningful. The fact that children with responsibilities are learning through first hand experience makes it more likely these lessons will take root and develop into real life skills for independent living.
Children responsible for household chores are well on their way to becoming the virtuous, well adjusted and productive adults that their parents hope they will become. And along the way you may be pleasantly surprised at your child’s cheerfulness, accountability, appreciation, and confidence, especially as they become more and more self sufficient.