5 Ways to Get Your Child to Help With Chores

Kids forced to clean their room, parent hand pointing

As a parent, the laundry list of things to accomplish in a day – including the laundry! – can seem overwhelming. With work and extracurricular activities and drive me here and make me a sandwich, there is little time left in the day for ourselves. But as your children get older, you should be able to have them carry some of the load…to the laundry room. There is no secret to getting your child to help with chores but there is substance in routine. Getting your child to understand the importance of teamwork and that many hands make light of work happens when you get started early.

Most parents make a modest effort in trying to get their kids to do their share of the chores around the house. We start them as young as one or two years old by telling them to pick up their toys or put something in its place, but truthfully they are too young to understand why. So here are five ways to get your child to help with chores, whether you started them off early or not.

  1. Be sure to explain to your child the importance of being responsible for his or her own belongings. Noone is going to look after their stuff but them. Sure, you’ll jump in from time to time to pick up the mess or put something in its rightful spot, but your children will be more productive if they understand why they need to be responsible for their things.
  2. Teach them to be grateful for what they have by having them clean out their toys or belongings once or twice a year to share with someone less fortunate than them. This is a good way to instill a sense of pride in what they own and they are more likely to take care of their things. This will come in handy when you ask them to clean their rooms or help pick up items in the family room.
  3. Give your children one thing to clean or tidy per day. They don’t need to work on the entire house all day every day, but they should have designated tasks that they know they are responsible for each day. Apply a reward system or demerit system if they are not accomplishing the things you asked them to do and explain to them how it impacts the rest of the chores when their piece is not completed.
  4. Ask them what they would like to help with. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, children want to be in charge. So let them decide for themselves what chores they will do and when. And then hold them to it.
  5. Change it up: if something isn’t working then try something else. Have your kids make their beds this week and next week they can create the meal plan. The following week they can mop the kitchen floor and so on. The more varied it is the more likely your children are to help you get things done around the house.

Don’t forget to praise them when they do something without you asking: this will make them feel like what they are doing is making a impact and they might just start to do more around the house without your asking. A parent can dream right?

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