Helping children around the house affected their brain development

(ORDO NEWS) — Australian scientists have shown that regularly involving children in household chores contributes to their school performance and the development of cognitive skills – planning, self-organization, multitasking, memorization.

While household chores cooking and cleaning occupy a large portion of our lives, their impact on brain development is poorly understood, especially in children.

There is evidence that participation in household chores contributes to a child’s autonomy and improved prosocial behavior, and even greater life satisfaction. The link between cleaning, cooking and improved cognitive function has been seen in older people.

A new study by scientists from the University of La Trobe (Australia) has shown that about the same effect household chores have on children. Unless, of course, they are engaged on a regular basis and this activity corresponds to age abilities.

The findings of the work are presented in the Australian Occupation Therapy Journal. It was attended by 207 parents (or guardians) of children aged five to 13 years.

In 2020, moms and dads were asked to fill out questionnaires about the number of things their children do every day. And also about how well developed their cognitive functions are: planning, self-organization, quick switching between tasks and memorization.

“Children who regularly cook for their family or weed their garden are more likely to do well in other areas of their lives, such as school,” said first author Diane L. Tepper.

For example, scientists found that involving children in family activities involving cooking for themselves and others significantly affected the development of working memory and inhibitory processes (the ability to think before doing).

But the early development of this function, which researchers call the executive, has been associated with successful higher education, improved health and financial well-being in the future. Therefore, scientists advise regularly involving children in household chores.

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