How to get your kids to do chores without the drama?
Getting your kids to do household chores is always a challenge. A typical scenario would involve a parent and a kid arguing about neglected chores. Some children would even resort to pouting and mumbling, while others will choose to ignore you. A lot of drama has to happen before your child finally heads off to the kitchen to wash the dishes or to the bedroom to clean up and organize. Even throwing the trash can be a burden for some kids.
While you may think that your kids do not like doing chores because they prefer to be lazy, there may be another reason for their behavior. Like some adults, children may also find household chores boring. They are not interested or excited because they don’t see any reward for doing their assigned tasks. This is why some parents come up with strategies that make doing household chores fun and rewarding.
Training your kids to do household activities teaches them discipline, responsibility, teamwork, and the importance of hard work. However, telling them all these will not make them enthusiastic about their tasks. They will still prefer sleeping in late on a Saturday morning over helping you cook breakfast for the family. You have to think of something that will make your kids look forward to doing their chores.
A good way of doing this is to create a points system that rewards each kid with a prize for every task they finish. You will find many sources and tools online, such as a kids debit card and chores app that not only encourages your children to do chores but also saves and manages money. This way, they will have something to look forward to every time they have a chore to handle.
In addition, you can also apply the following tips and strategies:
Be a good example
No matter how many times you argue with each other, your kids will still look up to you. You will always be their role model. They will watch you and what you do. So, if you complain about all the chores you are doing, they will do so as well.
Be a good example to your children by treating chores as essential tasks that help keep your home in good condition. Let them know that you can do the house activities together, just like a fun time. Make them feel like they are part of a team with a mission – keeping the home clean, organized, and safe.
Assure them that doing chores can be fun
You have to let your kids know that it’s okay to have fun while doing household chores. For example, you can sing or dance while washing the dishes or organizing stuff in the bedroom.
If you want to add some excitement, you can cook up friendly competition, like a song or poem writing contest about how fun it is to do chores. You can also add some action into room cleaning chores by giving a prize to whoever finishes cleaning up and organizing their stuff first.
Put a time limit for every chore
Every chore should have a time limit. Your kids will like it better when they know they have to do a chore for a limited time. For example, cleaning the room should be a 30-minute chore, while washing the dishes must be done in 15 minutes. Then create consequences for every time your kids go over the limit. So, if their room isn’t clean and organized in 30 minutes, they lose TV or gadget time.
If they finish before the time limit, you should reward them as well, such as extra gadget time or a trip to the mall on the weekend.
Create a schedule or weekly plan for all chores
Come up with a printed weekly schedule for all the chores. Divide them equally among your kids, and then post the schedule somewhere strategic, where everyone can see it. Children like visually appealing things, so maybe you can add some illustrations, stickers, and other similar stuff. This will make the list more interesting to them.
Let your kid know that there are consequences to their actions
Training your kids to do chores is a good way of teaching them the value of responsibility and discipline. It is essential to help them understand this. It is also crucial that you let them know there are consequences for chores that are not completed.
However, you should remind yourself that a consequence is different from punishment. Consequences can be good or bad and are intended to help children choose positive choices. Punishment is retribution and often involves pain and suffering.
Some good examples would be a trip to the beach for completing tasks and not buying their favorite video game if they did not clean their room on time.
Alternate their chores
In creating the weekly chore schedule, be sure to mix up your kids’ chores to avoid boredom. For instance, one of your kids can fold the laundry this week while the other walks the dog. The following week, they can switch chores. Doing this will add variety and excitement to their household chores.
Set up a point system
Rewarding your kids for every task they complete means you need to create a points system. Assign points for every chore and set limits for your kids. Be sure to match their limits with their capabilities.
Each points total should have a corresponding reward, i.e., ten points mean an additional ten minutes of screen or gadget time. This is a good way of teaching your kids the importance of goal setting.
Encouraging your kids to do household chores will be a challenge if you do it alone. It is always good to involve the kids – and your spouse. After all, a family is a team, so you have to work as one. Just remember to work with your kids, not against them.
Samantha Green is the Content Marketing Strategist for the MCA award-winning app, BusyKid, the first and only chore and allowance platform where kids can earn, save, share, spend, and invest their allowance. A mom of two, she enjoys spending time with her kids and reading books to them.