BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Oct. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a common misperception that chores are a necessary evil, but studies show that these daily tasks are a catalyst for academic achievement, decreased truancy rates, and even building stronger family bonds. Whirlpool is looking to turn the tide on societal misperceptions about chores and demonstrate how these simple and seemingly "thankless" tasks can help the ones we love.
Whirlpool worked with Dr. Richard Rende, a renowned developmental psychologist and researcher, to better understand the impact of these misperceptions and the opportunities gained when perceptions are changed. This new review of published research on the topic confirms pervasive negative attitudes of chores not only cause stress in the household, but also may negatively affect future participation.
"As an academic, understanding an issue and even possibly changing behavior in people often requires an immense amount of time and resources. I've dedicated my career to this subject area and what excites me about working with Whirlpool is the ability to create real practical solutions that can benefit families now," said Dr. Rende.
White Paper: "The Misperceptions of Chores: What's Really at Stake?"
The challenge Dr. Rende's assessment indicates that the challenge is to reframe how family members think about household responsibilities to improve family life. Studies show that:
Participation in household responsibilities and chores in childhood is a strong predictor of academic, social, personal development and even career success.
However, children's participation in chores has been on the decline for decades:
Chores are seen as a burden
They are a primary source of conflict with parents
Children report unclear and inconsistent expectations about their participation in household tasks
Cajoling, nagging and offering allowance are ineffective motivators
Children aren't alone – caretakers also perceive chores as stressors and have pessimistic attitudes about them.
The positive effects Shifting perceptions of chores to acts of care can influence how children develop as proactive caretakers of themselves and others. The accumulating benefits throughout childhood and into adulthood reverberate in payoffs to society by promoting:
Advanced academic performance in the early school years
Increased school engagement and decreased truancy rates
Better social relationships with peers in school
Higher educational attainment in early adulthood
Accelerated career pathways throughout adulthood
Positive mental health outcomes in adolescence and adulthood
Practical solutions Dr. Rende concluded that changing our communications about chores can make all the difference—including focusing on the positive results of chores rather than complaining about them as "work" that needs to be done. Some of his recommendations include:
Changing how family members talk about chores—both with each other and to others—to reframe them as ways to take care of each other, and
Having more family conversations that emphasize "we" rather than "me" to facilitate a caretaking attitude.
"These simple, daily tasks that can feel mundane and thankless are in fact 'acts of love' that are part of the emotional glue that holds families together, reduces stress, and paves the way for personal success," said William Beck, Senior Director of Brand and Channel Marketing for Whirlpool. "Our business is about helping families thrive. It's a natural space for Whirlpool, because we've always been a part of this daily care that has taken place in American homes for over 100 years. We design products that are inspired by how families give and get the care they need with the latest technologies and innovations that fit seamlessly into their lives. "
Integrated Marketing Campaign: Every day, care™ As part of the multi-million dollar Every day, care™ campaign, the largest campaign for the Whirlpool brand to-date, the white paper is one of many efforts aimed at helping change perceptions of how people view the daily chores necessary to care for their family. Additionally, national television, print and digital advertising, a series of social acts called the Every day, care™ Project, and innovations in the appliances themselves will seek to further prove how these seemingly insignificant acts have the power to affect real change.
Whirlpool will be driving public discourse around the topic during its launch with rich multi-media content across all digital platforms, including Whirlpool's website at Whirlpool.com/everydaycare. The public is invited to join the conversation on social media with #EveryDayCare.
Dr. Rende adds, "In my conversations with families and colleagues, the topic is ripe for discussion. They are hungry for this information and I encourage the public and the academic community to weigh in."
About Whirlpool Brand For more than one hundred years, Whirlpool has been inspired by how people care for their families. Whirlpool is designing home appliances that are focused on improving how families give and get the care they need with the latest technologies and innovations that make their experience effortless, intuitive, and easy – whether that means most flexible refrigerator storage for all types of family needs, induction technology for efficient cooking and easier cleaning or laundry pairs that sense and adapt to clothes with the latest in connected technologies. Whirlpool brand is part of Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. Whirlpool Corporation is also one of Habitat for Humanity's largest corporate partners for over 15 dedicated years, donating a refrigerator and range to every new Habitat for Humanity home built in North America. For more information on Whirlpool, please visit whirlpool.com/everydaycare or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/whirlpoolusa or Twitter at @WhirlpoolUSA. Additional information about the company can be found at whirlpoolcorp.com.