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Chores: The secret to your kid's success

Best predictor, if they do chores by age 3 or 4

ORLANDO, Fla. – A study that was done over a period of 25 years found the best predictor of a young adult’s success is whether they participated in household chores at age 3 or 4.

Many parents know they should have their children do chores; but they aren’t sure how to make it happen.

Vacuuming, dusting and folding. There are many ways kids can help out at home.

But in today’s world not all parents are assigning chores. In one survey, 82 percent of American adults reported having regular chores growing up, but only 56 percent said they required their own kids to do chores.

Studies show chores can teach responsibility, self-reliance and self-worth. And they also help kids think of others in the family, not just themselves.

“As a society, we have elevated achievement and happiness/wellbeing as the primary goals of child raising and demoted or sidelined concern for others concern for the common good," said Richard Weissbourd, EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

So how can you help your kids succeed? First, set the expectations. Let them know what their daily or weekly responsibilities are and when they should be done. Don’t offer electronics or other rewards until the chores are completed.

If your kids drag their feet, try timing the task. For example, if you think emptying the dishwasher should take 10 minutes, tell them and set a timer.

And avoid assigning chores based on gender. Use a chore wheel to encourage all the kids to participate in different types of work.

In Weissbourd’s survey of more than 10,000 middle and high school students, 80 percent said they valued their own happiness and achievement over caring for others.