You know those times when your parents ask you to take out the trash, wash the dishes, or help your siblings with their homework? Well, believe or not, there are great benefits to doing those small chores.
According to Dr. James G. Wellborn, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Brentwood, Tenn., focusing on adolescents and families, participating in doing chores will help prepare you for the real world.
Although it may be difficult for you to understand right now, there are valuable reasons as to why you should be responsible for participating in household chores. Aside from doing so as an effort to keep a clean environment, Dr. Wellborn assures that among the reasons to cleaning your room, are the following:
• Responsibility: When you make a mess YOU are obligated to clean it up. The most straightforward reason you need to do chores is to know that you are responsible for your actions in the world.
In your current world, taking responsibility may mean accepting the consequences for a bad grade or having spoken rudely to your parents. In the working world, it can transfer over to accepting a write up for showing up late to work or being called into your boss’s office to explain why the report you turned in made no sense at all.
• Personal Obligation: When you live with other people, you’re obliged to contribute to the general upkeep of common living areas. Chores will help you learn to pull your own weight when it comes to keeping shared spaces clean.
At home, in college and at work, keeping your personal space is a must. At home you have your parents to remind you to do so, but in college, your dorm buddies will be less than thrilled to pick up after you or keep reminding you to pick up your belongings. The same idea transfers over to your future career. At work, you’ll be expected to keep a clean working area and pick up after yourself after you’re done using your employer’s lunch area. If not, it won’t be your parents knocking on your door, but rather, an upset member of your company’s human resources department.
• Organization and Prioritizing: Chores are unpleasant for most teenagers. But the reality is that life is filled with unpleasant but necessary tasks. Chores provide the chance for you to practice making time for necessary things in your schedule of other activities.
The grown-up world thrives on deadlines and schedules. Learning to balance priorities at a young age will benefit you when in the future you have to find time to work on tomorrow’s meeting, read the latest headlines, squeeze in gym time, catch up with family and friends, and watch the latest episode of your favorite television show—all in one night!
• Sensitivity for others: Exposure to germs and disease are a serious issue. Chores give you a clear message that you need to take others’ feelings and health sensibilities into consideration.
Adults always say to be kind to others. Well, they say it for a reason. Once you enter the working world you’ll quickly learn that there are so many different personalities. But most importantly is that you’ll be expected to be able to work with all of them. For this, you’ll need to take their sensitivities into consideration and be able to communicate with them in a manner that is professional for everyone involved.
• Pride in a job well done: It is important to take pride in even the most insignificant tasks. Every task, however base, is an opportunity to work your hardest and do your best.
Remembering to pay your coffee tab on a weekly basis is a big deal in some offices. As silly as it sounds, it’s a great feeling being able to wipe your name off the “I.O.U” board.
Simple accomplishments such as these chores, or having proved your “rock star” status at the Monday sales meeting, will both be worthy of celebrating. Wait and see.