Why is it that getting your kids to do their chores is always like pulling teeth? Many mothers throw their hands in the air out of sheer frustration and end up doing everything themselves. Don’t let that be you and if you’re already in this position, it’s not too late to make a change. I’ll share some tips so you know how you can encourage your kids to do their chores.
Why It’s Important For Your Kids To Help Out
Before I get into how to motivate your kids to do chores, first let’s discuss why they should help out around the house.
When your kids have tasks assigned to them that they need to complete, it teaches them responsibility. They know that people relying on them to get things done and that there may be consequences if they don’t.
When kids have to clean up after themselves or even others, they realize how much work goes into keeping a home clean, as well as, how difficult and frustrating it can be. They come to appreciate the work that others do and may be more respectful of their space and less messy.
Chores teach children important skills that they use throughout their lives. Don’t wait until they are on their way to college to teach them how to cook, do laundry or other basic skills they need to know.
Learn the Importance Of Helping
Your kids dirty dishes and create messes just like everyone else in the house (probably even more). They need to realize that no one person is in charge of cleaning behind them.
How To Encourage Your Kids To Do Chores
Let’s face it, even as adults, we sometimes don’t want to clean around the house, so let’s not get any illusions of our kids skipping to the cleaning closet with glee. It’s going to take patience and persistence to get your kids into the routine of cleaning and helping out. But, it can be done and here’s how:
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Respect Their Time And Create A Deadline
Children are just that, children. Their work is actually play. When you stop them from playing, they will not come willingly. Have a set time that chores need to completed by. This will allow your child the space to decide when they want to start doing their chores. They can plan their day knowing that they have responsibilities to take care of along with the things they want to do. That way you are not stopping them in the middle of an activity that they find exciting to do mundane tasks.
Give the child an incentive, if you want. Inform them of the consequence if the time limit is not met and the reward if it is. The punishment can be something as simple as taking away their favourite toy or changing the Wi-Fi password (and not giving them the new one for a particular length of time). The reward can be an extra hour before bedtime.
Having a deadline prevents the child from dragging their feet when it comes to completing the chores and it teaches them accountability. They know they need to get their duties done to avoid the ramifications. Time limits also lessen the amount of micro-managing you need to do. Remind them about the assigned task(s) and, depending on the age of the child, say nothing more after that. When the time has expired, then take action. Your child will soon grow to learn and understand the routine.
Show Them How
Show your child how to complete the task you want them to do. The next time, let them assist. Move on to have them do the chore while you supervise. When they have mastered the activity, they can try it on their own. Don’t simply tell the child to do something they have never tried before. They may quickly get frustrated and give up or be discouraged when you are not pleased with the results.
Be Specific With Instructions
Give explicit instructions of what you want done and how. Telling your child to clean their rooms is vague. Let them know to place the toys in the toy box and the dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.
Get your children into the habit of completing certain tasks every morning like making the bed and tidying their rooms. Eventually this will become part of their day and they will do it without thinking about it.
Giving your child praise from the time they start doing the task is very important especially for younger kids. This builds positive momentum for them to continue.
Don’t insist that the task needs to be completed perfectly. Encourage the child to do the task to the best of their ability and praise them for what they have accomplished. Avoid jumping in and taking over the chore yourself.
Money is a good motivator with older kids. Younger ones may not care and will simply ignore the incentive. Have a discussion with your child to let them know that they can earn extra money if they complete bonus tasks on top of their basic chore list. Do not pay your child for completing their assigned chores. The money earned can help your child to save toward a special item they may want to purchase and teach them the value of work.
Never use chores as a punishment. Doing this reinforces in the child’s mind that chores are bad since they are made to do them when they’ve done something wrong. This is not what you want to do!
Free Chores List By Age
Creating a Chore Chart is an easy way to assign tasks to your kids so they know what they are responsible for doing. Make sure that the chores are age-appropriate. Don’t assume that your kids are too young either. Most children are capable of doing a lot more than we give them credit for. Click the image below to download a list of chores that children can tackle according to their ages.
Doing chores is not about ruining your kids’ day. It teaches them important lessons they will not learn otherwise. It also eases the burden of managing your home as the responsibility is spread among multiple people.