Calling a child a 'little helper' won't make them do their chores, study finds 2 months ago

Calling a child a 'little helper' won't make them do their chores, study finds

We've tried everything under the sun to get the kids to do their chores.

Reward charts, bribery, desperate threats of punishment - you'd try anything to get your little ones to take some responsibility and help out around the house.

It turns out that the language you use could have an impact on whether or not jobs get done.

One thing you shouldn't say to your kids, according to a new study, is the phrase 'little helper'.

Asking them simply to help is much more effective, it suggests.

Calling a child a 'helper' won't make them do their chores, study suggests

Children in the study, which was published in the scientific journal Child Development, who were told they were helpers were more likely to give up on their tasks when they ran into a problem, like encountering an extra mess after they'd cleaned up.

Kids who were asked to help were more likely to see the job through, meanwhile.

"The new research shows how subtle features of language can shape child behaviour in ways not previously understood,"  senior author Professor Marjorie Rhodes.

"In particular, using verbs to talk to children about behaviour - such as 'you can help' - can lead to more determination following setbacks than using nouns to talk about identities - for instance, 'you can be a helper'."