Getting Your Kids to Do Chores

Kids can be stubborn about chores. This can be frustrating for parents since they’re the ones that end up doing all of the extra housework. If you’re struggling to get your kids motivated to do their chores, these tips will help teach them to get the job done.

Make It a Habit

If your children aren’t used to doing chores, chances are you’ll have to continually remind your kids to get their jobs done. In order to get your kids to do their chores willingly, be sure to make it a habit. Simple chores should be done each day, and accountability is very important when first starting to do these chores. Chores should be done at the same time each day or week so that no one is surprised by the fact that it’s time to get some work done.

Make it fun

Put on some fun music and dance while mopping, and encourage your child to mop with you. Watch TV while you fold the laundry together. Kids love fun, and if something is fun and enjoyable, they will do it without complaining. Washing the car can be fun because you get to play with water. Small competitions are great, and you can set up a board where the child who does the most chores that week gets rewarded. Another great way is to write down chores, fold them, and have each child pick out a paper.

Use a Reward System

A reward system is a great way to motivate your children to get their chores done. In order for your kids to earn a reward, they need to do their jobs each day without being asked. They can then earn stickers or checks on a chore chart as they work their way to their reward goal. Rewards can definitely vary, including something simple and cheap like a free chore pass or an extra hour of TV.

Do Them Together

No one wants to stop playing or doing something fun in order to get a few chores done. To help encourage your children to do their chores willingly, schedule a chore time for the entire family. By doing all of your chores together, your kids won’t feel like they’re missing out on something. This should help reduce your children’s unwillingness to get their job done.

Teamwork is important, and it is an important way of teaching kids how to do something correctly while gently correcting them. Children want to do what their parents are doing and will, therefore, join in while you are cleaning the dishes. Pick up toys together and have them sort the laundry while you load it in. Working together will reduce whining as they will see you leading by example, and it is a great way to bond with them.

Don’t Make It Too Hard

If your kids feel overwhelmed and frustrated with their chores, then they’re more likely to try to avoid them. Instead, assign age-appropriate chores to your kids. If you have younger children, you can give them something simple to do like matching socks or wiping down door knobs. As your kids get older, you can assign more difficult chores like sweeping the floor or wiping countertops.

Find chores that are perfect for your child. Many parents underestimate what their little ones can do, and some overestimate what they can do.  Take note of the number of requirements a task involves. Toddlers can put toys away, dirty clothes away, their plate away after meals, and feed the family pet. Young children can dust, prepare the dinner table, sort laundry, help with folding, and water the plants. Pre-teens can sweep, mop, take the trash out, and make their beds. Teens can help walk the dog, mow the lawn, cook, babysit younger siblings, and arrange the groceries.

Show Appreciation

Say thank you when your child does something, especially without being told. This will make them feel valued and appreciated, and as a result, they will help out more. If the child feels that their hard work is recognized, they will be more cooperative.

If the child refuses to do a chore, talk to them with empathy and let them know the consequences of their refusal. A good example is, “I understand you do not want to help pack your lunch box, but that will mean you won’t have something to eat at school tomorrow.” The child will most likely end up doing the chore, and there will be a lesson learned about consequences if they refuse. 

Do not seek a sparkling, clean home. It is the thought that counts, and knowing that your kids did it to the best of their ability is better than not doing anything at all. 

Although it will take some work and effort, it is possible to motivate your kids to get their chores done each day.

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