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TOEFL Sample Essay: Household Tasks for Children

Essay topic

Some people believe that children should be asked to help with housework as soon as they are capable of doing that. Do you agree or disagree with this? Support your arguments with valid reasons.

Sample response

We live in a demanding world where we have to shoulder several responsibilities and therefore, right from infancy we must prepare ourselves for the obligations and responsibilities that await us.

Of course, childhood is a period of relative freedom and children should be allowed to play as much as they want. However, during this period they can also pick up many skills that will stand them in good stead when they enter adulthood. And when we look at things from this perspective, it is not hard to see that asking children to perform household tasks is beneficial to them in several ways.

It is important that children learn the value of responsibility right from an early age. When parents involve children in household activities, they are also acknowledging their ability to contribute meaningfully to the smooth running of the home. This boosts the confidence of young people. They also understand the need to perform tasks in a time-bound manner. This allows them to grow into capable adults.

This is beneficial from the social perspective, too. Young people need to conform to the society they live in. Of course, developing independence is a virtue. However, children should also realize that they live in an interdependent world where their decisions, actions and choices affect those around them. So, for example, when a child sets the table, s/he learns the importance to honor and appreciate guests. These experiences help them pick up valuable social skills.

From an economical perspective, too, this arrangement has several benefits. It allows children to understand the relation between effort and reward. Of course, very young children are unlikely to appreciate monetary rewards. For them, a warm hug or a word of praise will be more valuable. But as children grow up, parents can link pocket money to their efforts. This teaches them that by working during their free time, they can earn money to buy things. This helps children develop a strong sense of financial realities that await them.

In conclusion, by participating in household activities children learn many skills necessary for success in life. Most importantly, this arrangement teaches them the meaning of an important philosophical equation: to receive you have to give.