photo: Jessica Lucia via flickr

Teaching kids to clean up their toys is more than just a way to prevent stepping on those unseen LEGOs. Doing chores, like putting things away, doing dishes, and folding laundry can help your kids grow up to be happy and successful, according to a study. Read on to discover the science behind chores so you can lay down the facts next time your kids argue about picking up their dirty socks.

The Harvard Grant Study, an ongoing research program that has been compiling data for the last 75 years, has zeroed in on two important things people need to be happy and successful: loving relationships and a strong work ethic. According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How To Raise An Adult, the best way to instill work ethic from an early age is through — you guessed it — chores

As Lythcott-Haims explains in her TED Talk, when everyone in the family pitches in to do their part in maintaining the household, kids learn that sometimes you have to do things you might not like to do, but that’s part of life. “Professional success in life comes from having done chores as a kid, and the earlier you started, the better, that a roll-up-your-sleeves- and-pitch-in mindset, a mindset that says, there’s some unpleasant work, someone’s got to do it, it might as well be me, a mindset that says, I will contribute my effort to the betterment of the whole, that’s what gets you ahead in the workplace.”

Do your kids do chores? Share your thoughts in the comments.