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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Want your child to succeed in school? Rename these 8 household chores

Compiled by Herb Scribner, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Wed, Sept. 3 11:35 a.m. MDT

 Doing chores isn't totally unheard of in today's society. But you want to consider giving them a new name  and a new identity  to help your kid succeed in school.

Doing chores isn't totally unheard of in today's society. But you want to consider giving them a new name and a new identity to help your kid succeed in school.

(djedzura, Getty Images)

Chores are as American as apple pie.

Take out the trash. Sweep the floor. Take some cash, and run down to the store. They’re commonplace tasks that are often assigned to children to help them earn an allowance. In fact, 61 percent of American parents give their kids an allowance, with the average amount being $65 a month, according to a study by the American Institute of CPAs.

But there may be a whole new approach to giving allowances. The New York Times’ Ron Lieber wrote Thursday that parents may want to try giving their kids pay for how well they do their chores rather than if they do them at all. One family, the Clarks from San Jose, California, pay their children between $20 to $40 a month based on how well they complete their list of chores, according to The Times.

With 46 percent of parents having conversations with their children about money, according to a March 2012 survey, it may be time to give kids a new approach to housework — specifically when it comes to academic performances.

Here’s a list of eight household chores that can be slightly re-worked to improve your kid's academic performance:

“Take out the trash” could be “Proofread your work.”

Taking out the trash is all about eliminating stale or unnecessary items from your life. The same can be said for proofreading. There are plenty of benefits to taking a second look at your work, most importantly that you find some mistakes you may not have seen before. Having your kid proofread a homework assignment will help him or her identify problem areas at school and present a fresher and cleaner piece of work to teachers.

“Water the plants” could be “Take care of your body.”

Plants need water to grow and stay healthy, and the same goes for kids. Promoting good hygiene and health is a key to academic success, according to Ron Kurtis, a health expert. Being healthy, which can be emotional or physical, stimulates a person's brain, leading them to achieve better grades. Part of this includes sleep, too. Many have debated recently whether or not starting school later in the day can improve a child's academic performance.

“Clear (or set) the table” could be “Try your best to be organized.”

Organization can go a long way on the dinner table and in your local schools. There have been numerous reports of how being organized can help you become less stressed and have more time for relaxation, according to unclutterer.com, a blog about staying organized. Being organized can also help with productivity.

“Put away the groceries” could be “Hang up the report card.”

Some groceries go to the fridge, and so should a good report card. According to KOAA, an NBC affiliate, promoting good grades in the home will help kids recognize their success and feel as though they can accomplish hefty tasks more easily.

“Make your bed” could be “Make yourself look good.”

Do good looks always mean good grades? The University of Miami found that physical attractiveness, personality and grooming can lead to academic success within the walls of the high school. So instead of having children make their bed, instruct them to dress appropriately and look their finest before fleeing off to first period.

“Wash the dishes” could be “Wash the dishes.”

Want your kid to leave the stresses and worries of school behind? Well, washing the dishes can help with that. Daily Mail reported that doing dishes has been known to relieve people of stress — something that is quite common during the back-to-school weeks — and make difficult situations more easy to handle, according to The Toronto Star.

“Help make dinner” could be “Let’s do your math homework.”

One of the benefits of learning to make dinner, according to Global Post, is that it can help people learn how to read recipes and understand basic formulas and instructions. That is to say, it can help you with math. So instead of teaching your kid how to bake brownies or cook spicy chicken curry before dinner, it may be beneficial to use this time to help them with their math homework instead.

“Feed the pet” could be “Stay true to your friends.”

Friends in high school are the most likely to unfriend you, according to The Huffington Post, so you may already be missing out on some long-term friendships. But having friends is a true benefit in multiple ways. According to WebMD, an Australian study from the Center for Ageing Studies at Flinders University, those with more friends have a longer life. And separate studies have shown that kids with more friends can conquer tough events, say tests, relationship woes or studying, more easily.

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner

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1. YouAreKidding
Salt Lake City, UT,
Sept. 3, 2014

This sounds just like all the nonsensical jibberish that is floating out there about "making yourself feel good." My parents expected me to: proofread my work, take care of my body, be organized, give my best effort at getting good grades, make myself look good, wash the dishes, do my homework and be true to my friends. Now, the author suggests we give our kids an allowance for doing things that used to be expected of us as kids. This is just as dumb as common core and the current socialist welfare state. We incentivise our kids to do less than what they are capable of and then pay them for doing less.

Don't dumb down the chore list. Teach kids to excel at EVERYTHING they do. Only when we show our children that it is possible for them to do better in every aspect of their lives, will they start recognizing ways to stretch themselves. Why does the carrot always have to be the almighty dollar? What happened to doing your best simply for the satisfaction of a job well done.

Sorry Herb, but these ideas fall way short on the "help my kids do better" meter.