Chores & smartphones: most of the time, they’re in complete opposition to one another. You know all too well that most children would rather bury their face in their smartphone than look up and take care of chores. You’ve even found that sometimes, it’s easier to complete a chore yourself than it is to convince a smartphone-obsessed youngster to get off of the couch and handle it. Insisting that your child continue to participate in household chores, however, is incredibly important to their development.
Your Child’s Phone Doesn’t Know Everything
Someday, your child will move out of your home. If you’re dealing with a high school student, chances are that will be sooner rather than later. Before you know it, they’ll be living in a dorm room, taking care of their own cleaning tasks and doing their own laundry. Eventually, they’ll even be responsible for preparing their own meals–and depending on their budget, fast food isn’t always a healthy or viable option.
While your child can probably effectively search for information on how to complete all of those tasks, there’s no substitute for solid, hands-on instruction. By the time your child is in middle school, they should be able to do their own laundry and clean a bathroom. As they go through high school, they should learn more important tasks: how to cook a meal (a well-rounded individual should know how to prepare at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner from scratch), how to change the oil in the family car (even if “changing the oil” is taking the car to the nearest service station and learning how to understand the difference between “necessary repairs” and “upsell”), and how to go to the grocery store with a list and come back with the items on that list. Your child should be familiar with basic home repair tasks: how to hang a picture, unclog a toilet, and fix a squeaky hinge. Someday, they’re going to need all of those skills. Teaching them how to do it now could save a lot of tears in the future.
Chores Enhance Responsibility and Community
Your family is a comprehensive unit that works together to achieve your goals. While there are some things that each of you does independently, there are also tasks that you take on together. Taking care of some of the chores that are necessary to keep your household up and running will help enhance that sense of community and develop your child’s responsibility. Ideally, you want to teach your child that if something needs to be done, they should do it before they plop down with their smartphone. Sure, they can take a break every once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with that! However, you shouldn’t have to nag your child constantly to get the simplest of tasks completed. Teaching them that responsibility comes first is a great way to keep your household flowing more smoothly. Some parents have gone so far as to create a list of tasks that need to be completed before their children can use their phone for the day: a simple, yet effective, way to ensure that the chores are being done before they use that smartphone.
There’s an App for That
If you’re struggling to get your child to perform necessary chores around the house, don’t take it personally. You’re not alone! In fact, there are a number of apps on the market that will help remind your child of all the tasks that need to be completed. From a daily To Do list that points out that the dog still needs to be fed, the laundry needs to be put in the washer, and the kitchen counters need to be wiped down to a point system that lets them compete for important privileges, there are plenty of apps that will help your child develop their responsibility levels and make completing their chores easier.
Suggestion for Parents
Limiting or cutting back on technology each day, so that your children and teens can get their other responsibilities accomplished isn’t as impossible as it seems. Using a parental control always makes it easier to balance your families time that they spend on their devices. If you child has an Android or Apple device, a service like Netsanity could be just what you need! They have a suite of services like their Timeblocker scheduler, can be used on a regular basis to keep your kids balanced with their technology use. Sometimes you may need to resort to blocking some social apps during certain times of day if you find that checking those apps has become a distraction for them. Netsanity’s Appblocker can be used to block and restrict certain social apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and many others. They have a free trial so it’s worth checking out if your child has a mobile device.
Overall, balance in all of our lives is the key to keeping the entire family healthy and sane!
Netsanity was made by parents for parents. With easy to use software designed to give control and sanity back to parents, Netsanity enables a safer and healthier mobile experience for kids. See for yourself with a free trial!
Netsanity is available for both Apple and Android devices.