Children today are filled to the brim with activities, but Wall Street Journal contributor Jennifer Wallace warned dropping a longstanding custom could have consequences.
Not only should kids be responsible for chores, she argued, their benefits can extend well into adulthood.
"The family is the first introduction to society for a kid," Wallace said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning."
She said chores are important for children to build self-reliance, confidence and a positive work ethic.
A 2014 Braun Research study surveyed 1,001 U.S. adults and found 82 percent had regular chores as youth, but only 28 percent mandate the same for their children.
Many parents find it difficult to maintain a schedule, thus it becomes a chore to assign chores.
"You have to change your mindset," Wallace said. "You have to look at chores as the long-term benefits. So a little short-term pain for long-term gain."
She also suggested parents reframe their attitude. "Do your chores," could become "Let's do our chores."
"Talk about helping the family, how these help," Wallace said.
In her article, Wallace refers to chores not as self-care tasks for children, rather as duties that benefit the family as a whole -- things like cleaning dishes and mowing the lawn. She also said children shouldn't be paid for that work.
"Parents don't get paid for helping around the house," she said. "Kids shouldn't either."
So how do so many kids escape chores these days?
"I think our priorities as families has shifted," she said.
Success in school and extracurricular activities is increasingly filling children's schedules.
"I think our children have other things now on their to-do lists: running the chess team, being on every soccer team," she said.
But chores should be important enough to get on the schedule "right next to soccer practice and piano lessons."
The key, Wallace said, is to make the chore a game.
"This works with my younger ones," she said. "My daughter is very excited to earn the next level of her chores which is doing the laundry. She was sorting and now she's earned the next level."
Like Mary Poppins famously said: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun."