Empowering children for a grown-up world

Chores in a digital age for the digital native

The tradition of giving children chores to make them responsible is changing and will change faster as more automation seeps into our everyday lives. We hear about activities such as working the newspaper route, and putting up wall papers as quaint household chores of an era bygone.

Let us come up with chores for teens that impart marketable and transferable skills. Here are 3 simple ideas you can try at home, with growing children.

  1. Help out in the kitchen. Eventually, kids learn to cook a healthy home-made meal. Knowing how to put together a quick meal is a priceless skill when they leave home for college, internship or their first job. Someday, they will thank you for giving them this opportunity to learn. Encourage them to try their own recipes or other recipes inspired by watching online videos. Bonus: Learning to use different tools in the kitchen is a useful life-skill, whether their future is in manufacturing, the culinary arts, or, yes, even if surgery is going to be their calling.
  2. Help with comparison shopping, whether online or at a store. It is the first step in understanding what smart purchasing entails. Finely tuned web search skills in ecommerce, at least for now, are transferable skills in accounting, procurement, contract negotiations, data analysis and almost any career where one needs to be resourceful and efficient in navigating the internet and gathering knowledge.
  3. Help as a navigator during drives. This is a great way for tweens and teens to start observing streets signs and markings, learn how to exercise common sense while choosing between alternative routes, how to time their commute to be punctual, finding safe spots to park, knowing how to respect authority on the roads, and understanding directions while gaining a general sense of the map and their own coordinates so that they are never blindly following the GPS when the time comes for them to start driving. Knowing to drive calmly and confidently is a critical life skill, for now.

At AlligatorZone, we are big proponents of lifelong learning, and of empowering children with lifeskills early on so that they navigate their high school years and college years without self-doubt. Even though we keep developing many formal programs to help teachers, parents and guardians foster industry-awareness and self-awareness among students, we believe that the best learning environment in one’s early years is at home and with friends, and the most foundational teachers, one’s loving elders at home.

If you liked this article, drop us a line to let us know. If you have stories to share about chores that have yielded multiple life-lessons in your own experience, please send them to our editors and they may amplify your tips with credit to you (unless you wish to remain anonymous).

Picture credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash